Friday, December 21, 2018

Getting LaTeX . . .

Your preferences matter! There are many ways to use TeX/LaTeX . . .
  • Linux/UNIX: Check your Linux/UNIX distributions software source for a TeX distribution including LaTeX. You can also install the current TeX Live distribution directly---in fact this may be advisable as many Linux/UNIX distributions only contain older versions of TeX Live, see Linux TeX Live package status for details.
  • Mac OS X: The MacTeX distribution contains everything you need, including a complete TeX system with LaTeX itself and editors to write documents. This is what I use, and the one I am most able to help with.
  • Windows: Check out the MiKTeX or proTeXt or TeX Live distributions; they contain a complete TeX system with LaTeX itself and editors to write documents.

M11 Seminar

What is LaTeX?
LaTeX is an advanced document preparation system, that is widely used by mathematicians, scientists, engineers, philosophers, linguists, economists and other scholars in academia. It is generally considered the fastest and most professional way to write documents containing lots of mathematical equations or different languages. It is also very robust at handling very large documents. In LaTeX, input (mostly plain text) and output (mostly pdf) are split into different files. This typesetting system offers programmable desktop publishing features and extensive facilities for automating most aspects of typesetting and desktop publishing, including numbering and cross-referencing, tables and figures, page layout and bibliographies.

LaTeX was originally written in the early 1980s by Leslie Lamport at SRI International. It has become the dominant method for using TeX---relatively few people write in plain TeX anymore.

The term LaTeX refers only to the language in which documents are written, not to the editor used to write those documents. In order to create a document in LaTeX, a .tex file must be created using some form of text editor. While most text editors can be used to create a LaTeX document, a number of editors have been created specifically for working with LaTeX.

Seminar Organization
An introduction will be given on January 22, 2019 in room 3420. Basic overview that will hopefully provide enough information to get those in attendance started.

Installing LaTeX?
An excellent textbook written by George Grätzer, entitled More Math Into LaTeX is available for purchase, and I do encourage you to buy this book, but for now you might just want to download the free online version [7.2 MB]. Certainly if you want to continue learning how to use LaTeX here at m11.mathography.org, you will absolutely need this online textbook to get started. When you expand the Math_into_LaTeX-4.zip file you just downloaded, you'll be shocked to find a massive directory of files, but you just need the file within this directory named Short_Course.pdf.

[Here's a video if you need help!]

If you don't have working version of LaTeX installed, you'll will have to skip forward in this e-book and start with Appendix A of this free book. which will outline the steps on how to install LaTeX. The typical installation on Mac OS X consists of TEX Live and TeXShop, while a typical installation on Windows consists of WinEdt and MiKTeX. So please read Appendix A and get ready to start learning LaTeX.

Windows users should concentrate on section A.1, and Mac OS X users should concentrate on A.2. Yes, you need to get busy doing this, because without having a running LaTeX installation you won't be able to typeset this into that.

[Here's a video if you need help!]

Assignment Schedule

When you're ready, you'll need to do the exercises listed below, in sequence, and then submit the LaTeX source for each exercise. You should name your exercises with the following convention,

lastname.firstname.exercise.##.tex,


where the ## should be a two digit assignment number. When you're done, you should mail your assignment, as an attachment, to:

m11@mathography.org

Before starting, I suggest that you download the student directory first. It includes all files and is nicely organized. It's going to be tough going at first, but if you read the lesson.##.tex and look at the output lesson.##.pdf for each lesson you should be able to figure out how to do each exercise. The exercise for each assignment is to reproduce the exercise.##.pdf using LaTeX. For each of these twelve assignments you'll need to submit the LaTeX source. [Some excellent hints are available here!]

[Here's a video if you need help!]
  1. METCS Seminar Orientation – January 22, 2019, room 3420: Read the introduction and acknowledgments before proceeding forward. If you do proceed forward, please be aware that this is going to require a lot of work to complete!
  2. During the next two weeks, you should do the following:
    1. Read through the Forward, Preface, and Introduction of Short_Course.pdf. Write a short email to the book’s author (you need to cc m11@mathography.org) thanking him for providing these materials free of charge.
    2. Read Chapters 1 and 2 of Short_Course.pdf. Make sure you can do the examples presented in these readings.
    3. Read Chapter 3 of Short_Course.pdf. Make sure you can do the examples presented in these readings. Try typesetting some of the mathematics presented. No need to memorize---you can always look it up when the need arrises.
  3. Typeset and study lesson.01.tex source; reproduce exercise.01.pdf
  4. Typeset and study lesson.02.tex source; reproduce exercise.02.pdf
  5. Typeset and study lesson.03.tex source; reproduce exercise.03.pdf
  6. Typeset and study lesson.04.tex source; reproduce exercise.04.pdf
  7. Typeset and study lesson.05.tex source; reproduce exercise.05.pdf
  8. Typeset and study lesson.06.tex source; reproduce exercise.06.pdf
  9. Typeset and study lesson.07.tex source; reproduce exercise.07.pdf
  10. Typeset and study lesson.08.tex source; reproduce exercise.08.pdf
  11. Typeset and study lesson.09.tex source; reproduce exercise.09.pdf
  12. Typeset and study lesson.10.tex source; reproduce exercise.10.pdf
  13. Typeset and study lesson.11.tex source; reproduce exercise.11.pdf
  14. Typeset and study lesson.12.tex source; reproduce exercise.12.pdf
  15. Download all files and play around with folders named 13 and thesis.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Forum . . .

I am hopeful that this site and online course will facilitate a better understanding of how to use LaTeX. Please get involved and help others join in. Leave a comment---we all need to know who's on board . . .

There's also a forum where registered users can post and answer questions about each assignment. I am hopeful that we will form a community of learners that are willing to learn and teach together.