Tag Archives: typesetting

February 21, 2010, 9:30 pm

Five reasons you should use LaTeX and five tips for teaching it

Over the weekend a minor smack-talk session opened up on Twitter between Maria Andersen and about half a dozen other math people about MathType versus \(\LaTeX\). Maria is on record as being pro-MathType and yesterday she claimed that \(\LaTeX\) is “not intuitive to learn”.  I warned her that a pro-\(\LaTeX\)  blog post was in the offing with those remarks, and so it comes to this. \(\LaTeX\) is accessible enough that every math teacher and every student in a math class at or above Calculus can (and many should) learn \(\LaTeX\) and use it for their work. I have been using \(\LaTeX\) for 15 years now and have been teaching it to our sophomore math majors for five years. I can tell you that students can learn it, and learn to love it.

Why use \(\LaTeX\) when MathType is already out there, bundled with MS Word and other office programs, tempting us with its…

Read More

February 4, 2010, 10:14 pm

12 videos for getting LaTeX into the hands of students

There seem to be two pieces of technology that all mathematicians and other technical professionals use, regardless of how technophobic they might be: email, and \(\LaTeX\). There are ways to typeset mathematical expressions out there that have a more shallow learning curve, but when it comes to flexibility, extendability, and just the sheer aesthetic quality of the result, \(\LaTeX\) has no rival. Plus, it’s free and runs on every computing platform in existence. It even runs on WordPress.com blogs (as you can see here) and just made its entry into Google Documents in miniature form as Google Docs’ equation editor. \(\LaTeX\) is not going anywhere anytime soon, and in fact it seems to be showing up in more and more places as the typesetting system of choice.

But \(\LaTeX\) gets a bad rap as too complicated for normal people to use. It seems to be something people learn …

Read More

October 3, 2007, 8:11 pm

A math-blogging revelation

I’ve just made a major discovery: WordPress.com blogs, like this one, allow you to typeset LaTeX directly in your blog posts. For example:

\(x = \frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2 – 4ac}}{2a}\)

You can put in LaTeX in the comment fields, too. Here’s the FAQ entry that explains it all.  I’m appreciating my switch to WordPress.com more and more each day.

I found this fact out in a comment left by  Terence Tao on the blog of Timothy Gowers, both of whom are not only Fields Medal-winning mathematicians but also WordPress.com bloggers.