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There are some questions on mathoverflow such as

with answers that tell us things such as:

Mathematicians prefer to use older books because of some old books are full of amazing ideas and some of them are comprehensive (such as books of Spivak).

Question: What older books (with low quality typesetting) would you like to see reprinted with high quality typesetting?

My question is not just a question. We are a group of math students (most of them are geometry students) that want to re-write popular old books using $\mathrm{\LaTeX}$.

One can search for most cited books such as: Curvature and Betti numbers (K Yano, S Bochner) or Einstein manifolds (AL Besse).

Update: We have some rules:

  1. After sending $\LaTeX$ and PDF file of rewritten books to main author or publisher, we delete it from our computer.

  2. We never publish it anywhere on internet (If publisher or author give an answer for re-typing).

  3. We don't want to earn money by selling these books (If publisher or author didn't accept to pay for our work we have no way but creating a donation page after author or publisher approval).

Note: See books in progress on my blog and encourage us by making a donation.

Update (April 30 2019): It would be great appreciate if you inform me about any grant that support this project.

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    $\begingroup$ wouldn't you run into copyright restrictions? (it typically takes author's life time + 70 years to expire...) $\endgroup$ – Carlo Beenakker Dec 17 '18 at 8:21
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    $\begingroup$ I'm afraid not without asking permission from copyright holders. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Beenakker Dec 17 '18 at 9:44
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    $\begingroup$ I'm surely not the only one who hopes you'll do it anyway. $\endgroup$ – Harry Gindi Dec 17 '18 at 11:21
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    $\begingroup$ Project Gutenberg (edit: a non-profit that exists to enable electronic access to public domain works) has a helpful FAQ about re-releasing works (in the US) without copyright restrictions. The "easy" standard is any edition published before 1923 is always fine, with some exceptions for more recent works. See gutenberg.org/wiki/Gutenberg:Copyright_FAQ and of course, consult a lawyer. $\endgroup$ – Ben Burns Dec 17 '18 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ Besse's Einstein Manifolds has excellent quality typesetting, so perhaps you would rather mention something older, like Bott's beautiful Lectures on Characteristic Classes and Foliations. $\endgroup$ – Ben McKay Dec 17 '18 at 15:14

48 Answers 48

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Rudin, W., Function theory in polydiscs, Mathematics Lecture Note Series. New York-Amsterdam: W.A. Benjamin, Inc., 188 p. (1969). ZBL0177.34101.

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Hilbert’s Foundations of Geometry, with errata and better diagrams.

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    $\begingroup$ It is already done here. $\endgroup$ – user 170039 Dec 18 '18 at 4:01
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Number Fields by Daniel A. Marcus.

That's my favorite candidate for real typesetting for two reasons: the book is great and the typewritten text is awful to look at. And it was so at the time the book came out.

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    $\begingroup$ Oh, this has been done by Springer: springer.com/us/book/9783319902326 $\endgroup$ – lhf Dec 21 '18 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ Good to know! It's nice that they finally made it pleasant to look at. $\endgroup$ – Grad student Dec 26 '18 at 17:38
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Leonhard Euler's Vollständige Anleitung zur Differenzial-Rechnung and his Vollständige Anleitung zur Integralrechnung.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow! Did Euler ever publish in German? I thought he published all in Latin. $\endgroup$ – Allawonder Apr 30 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Allawonder: those two books are translations from Latin to German by Johann Michelsen. $\endgroup$ – Michael Bächtold May 1 at 8:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Allawonder I'm not aware of a good english translation of this. If there is one that would also be nice. $\endgroup$ – Michael Bächtold May 1 at 9:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Allawonder Thanks! I had forgotten Blanton's translation but was aware of Bruce's. I haven't read much of Bruce's translation, but noticed in one particular case, that it was not of much help. $\endgroup$ – Michael Bächtold May 1 at 10:06
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with you that Bruce's translation is sometimes difficult to understand. I hinted at something like that in my last comment. However, since there are no others... $\endgroup$ – Allawonder May 1 at 10:17
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Maybe it would be nice to put in one place pointers to projects aiming to retype old books:

  1. [WIP 10%; me] Adams's blue book [pdf] [source] [notes regarding the re-typesetting];
  2. [Complete; C.F.G.] Milnor's Morse Theory [link];
  3. [WIP 2%; C.F.G.] Characteristic Classes by Stasheff and Milnor [link];
  4. [WIP 60%; C.F.G.] Milnor's Lectures on the h-cobordism theorem [link];
  5. [0%; C.F.G.] Grothendieck's a general theory of fibre spaces with structure sheaf [link].
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  • $\begingroup$ Your typesetting is much much better than mine. Also my priority is books with full of figures and must voted here. (this is less boring). $\endgroup$ – C.F.G Sep 19 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ @EricWright- I understand some readers want to change the font, text size ..., but it is somewhat harmful. because, It is possible some (evil :( ) people try to change the contents of the books and circulate it and finally it is min responsibility. Thanks for your encouragement. $\endgroup$ – C.F.G Sep 20 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ Also, In pdf of Milnor's book I realized that it has some misprint typos. I'll post it again as soon as possible. $\endgroup$ – C.F.G Sep 20 at 4:52
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All eight volumes of Grothendieck's Éléments de géométrie algébrique, from 1960-1967.

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    $\begingroup$ What's wrong with the typesetting of these ones? The versions available via Numdam seem fine to me. $\endgroup$ – Fred Rohrer Dec 18 '18 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @FredRohrer apologies; the only version I had seen before had much worse typesetting $\endgroup$ – Liam Baker Dec 18 '18 at 18:13
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There are many beautiful mathematical books, e.g. by Milnor, Serre, ... However, if I had to select only one, it would be by Emil Artin, Theory of Algebraic Numbers.

It should be allowed to make some minor editing. Indeed, the book is exceptionally elegant despite the fact that the note taker and translator were not always understanding the text. For instance, a marginal remark was called a theorem when the real result was stated as a regular part of the text. But then, who knows, possibly this is also a part of this charming and profound monography.

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps this book is included as part of "Expostion by Emil Artin: A Selection", pag. 120-250, published by the AMS. $\endgroup$ – F Zaldivar Dec 20 '18 at 17:30
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Topics in multiplicative number theory by H.L. Montgomery. It is not out of print, but a version in LaTeX quality would be a significant improvement.

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Grothendieck et al.'s SGA n for n >= 5. SMF has done SGA1,2,4, and SGA3.1 and 3.3, with a draft of 3.2 available online. I think it is difficult to overestimate how relevant these books still are.

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I am very surprised no one has mentioned Sheaf Theory by B.R. Tennison. It is an awesome book : definitions and theorems are stated very precisely yet lucidly, and the proofs are detailed. It is a favorite of many Algebraic Geometers.

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"Surface Area" by Lamberto Cesari, published by Princeton University press in 1956. It is similar to "Length and Area" of Tibor Rado, but the contents of the two books do not overlap and the book by Cesari has a complete bibliography that covers perhaps all contributions to the area problem from its beginning around 1900 up to its date of publication: also, it includes Cesari's complete solution to this problem, which is not easy to find elsewhere at all, since it was published in several large memories by the "Reale Accademia d'Italia" during the WWII.

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Gekeler's Drinfeld Modular Curves, 1986

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I don't know whether the book mentioned in the question is readable or not yet; so I post it as an answer:

Curvature and Betti numbers by K. Yano and S. Bochner.

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Differential Geometry in the Large: Seminar Lectures New York University 1946 and Stanford University 1956 by Heinz Hopf.

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A preprint of G. Perelman: Alexandrov's space with curvatures bounded from below II.

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Chern S.S. - Complex manifolds without potential theory (With an Appendix on the Geometry of Characteristic Classes)- Springer (1995)

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Stong, Robert E. (1968). Notes on cobordism theory. Mathematical notes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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Little & Ives 1958 Complete book of Science

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    $\begingroup$ That book was beautifully typeset (see rubylane.com/item/632271-007689/…). It is not hard to find a copy, and not expensive. Your answer doesn't seem to me to be in the spirit of this question. $\endgroup$ – Ben McKay Dec 18 '18 at 8:59

protected by Yemon Choi Dec 18 '18 at 12:39

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