Mathematical notation

A target date of September 2005 has been set for the release of STIX Fonts, a free set of special mainly mathematical characters that are used in scientific, technical, and medical publishing.


The successful completion of the Scientific and Technical Information Exchange (STIX) Fonts project will alleviate the need for publishers to assemble symbols from a variety of fonts.


Perhaps more important, when posted to a web site, documents using STIX Fonts will be properly rendered, regardless of the fonts installed on a particular computer.


The six publishers that came together to design, fund and manage the STIX project include the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the American Physical Society (APS), Elsevier, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).


The STIX Fonts web site http://www.stixfonts.org provides details for potential users within the scientific and publishing communities. It also offers a special area for software developers who may want to incorporate support for the STIX Fonts into their products.


The participating publishers awarded the font development contract to MicroPress, a font designer, which has created and delivered over seven thousand characters/glyphs required for these comprehensive fonts.


“Until now, scientists had to navigate dozens of obscure fonts to display the mathematics of science on the web,” said John Ewing, Executive Director of the American Mathematical Society. “This project eliminates that Tower of Babel , organizing thousands of mathematical symbols into a unified whole.”


“The STIX Fonts will be made available, under royalty-free license, to anyone, including publishers, software developers, scientists, students and the general public,” said Tim Ingoldsby, Director of Business Development for the American Institute of Physics and chairman for the STIX project.


By making the fonts freely available, the STIX project hopes to encourage the development of applications that make use of these fonts. In particular the STIX project will create a TEX implementation that TEX users can install and configure with minimal effort. TEX is a computer language designed for typesetting, with particular application to mathematics and other technical material.