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Math 198: L A T E X for Math/Science

Fall 2006

Math 198, Section 3 Monday, 4-6pm B3A Evans


Faculty Sponsor: Ken Ribet


Evelyn Crofts Cordelia Csar Elizabeth Dyer May Mei Thomson Nguyen (head facilitator) Aaron Oaks

Course Websites:

Math 198, Section 5 Thursday, 5-7pm B3A Evans (Main site)

Course E-mail addresses: (For questions concerning enrollment) (For everything else)

Course Description

This class is an introduction to L A T E X for uses in math, science and engineering. Our first goal is to help you type your homework. After this we will introduce you to different types of documents and packages such as resumes, articles, thesis, and others. We will end with a discussion of graphics and how to share L A T E X files with others. We hope to give you enough familiarity with L A T E X so that you have the skills to type most technical documents in L A T E X .

There will be one hour of lecture where we will teach the lesson for the week. After this hour there is an optional lab hour where you can stay and practice what you learned in class or do homework. This is a great way for you to work out any problems that you have with what was taught in lecture. We want this class to be interactive so we will ask lots of questions and we will have you work with partners on many of the exercises.


Math 198: L A T E X for Math/Science

Fall 2006

Required Text

The only required text for the class is the reader, which is available online at the course website.

Recommended Reading

There are many books about L A T E X out there. Here are some that we recommend:

Lamport, Leslie. L A T E X : A Document Preparation System. Addison-Wesley Professional : 1994 (2nd Edition)

This book is one of the best we have seen. Its fairly comprehensive and really easy to understand. If we had a textbook this would be it.

Braams, Johannes et al. The L A T E X Companion. Addison-Wesley Professional: 2004 (2nd Edition)

This book is very comprehensive and will tell you how to do ANYTHING in L A T E X great reference if you plan to continue using L A T E X in the future.

Evaluation Procedures

In order to pass the class you will need to complete at least 2/3 of the homework assignments (8 assignments). Successful completion of a homework assignment will be getting 50% or above. Each assignment per week will be out of 20 points. Homework Assignments consist of a L A T E Xdocument each week using what we learned in class. There will be two options for the homework each week. The first choice will be using a document that you have made for another class as long as it has the required contents (things we learned that week) in it. The second choice will be to do the homework assignemnt for that week. Late homework will not be accepted.

Homework Submission

Homework assignments will be graded in class a week from the day of its assignment. Homework assignments will be due a week from the day it was assigned, on the day of your home section. The first 15 minutes of class will be devoted to grading last week’s homework assignment on the spot. You must be present during these 15 minutes for your homework to be graded. Your home section is the section you signed into on Week 0. Suggested solutions to each homework will be posted the week after, and will include selections from students’ submissions. If you would not like for your homework to be considered for inclusion in our answer keys, please email

Academic Policy

We will be requiring that all of you turn in your source code for the homework assignments. Please dont copy other peoples math homework and use it for this class. We will catch you if you cheat and there is really no reason to because the homework doesnt take that long and helps you learn the material better.


There are five ways to contact L A T E X DeCal staff should you have any questions or concerns (listed in decreasing order of effectiveness):

Math 198: L A T E X for Math/Science

Fall 2006

In-person Office Hours There is an optional 1 hour lab promptly after each section (M5-6, W6-7). The DeCal staff will be available on hand for questions and problems. This is probably the most effective way to communicate anything to us.

E-mail is the e-mail address to use for any questions you may have at home about using LaTeX. For enrollment concerns, please email

Online Office Hours The DeCal has a screen name on AIM that’s staffed most of the time. The screen name is ineedlatexhelp.

Discussion Group The DeCal has a Google Group for discussing the class, answering questions and whatnot. We check it from time to time. That website is

MUSA Forums The MUSA forums is another good way to post questions on the homework, and is a good way to ask your fellow peers in addition to DeCal staff for help, although it is rarely used now.

Topics Covered

Software installation

L A T E X typesetting basics

L A T E X math typesetting

Tables and matrices





fancyhdr, and other useful packages

Different documentclasses


Other items as time permits