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Latex notes

I started using LaTeX fall semester of 2004, when I had to do a number of longish proofs for a math class and I needed to type them out. My experience with LaTeX is that it does things really nicely, but it's tough to get started. I have spent a lot of time knowing what I want to do, but struggling to find how to do it in LaTeX.

LaTeX handles math really well. I first started playing with LaTeX for a math class in which I had to type out a number of longish theorems. When I took Cryptology, I did almost all of my homework in LaTeX. For a long time, I wanted to write my resume in LaTeX, but couldn't figure out how to do it to my satisfaction. I originally wrote my resume in Microsoft Word. It got the job done, but these days I've been using openoffice.org exclusively and I find that it formats things slightly differently than Word. Besides, writing your resume in LaTeX is just cool.

Getting started with LaTeX in 5 minutes

I may write a LaTeX tutorial some day, but not today. Here's the template I use when writing a standard school paper: one inch margins, name and so on in the upper right corner, double spaced.


I should find some good LaTeX references and include them here...

Latex examples/samples

Here are a number of samples from my math class Sequences, Series, and Foundations:

I actually took notes for most of the semester for Cryptology. That's a lot of notes. When I reviewed them, I noticed a lot of typos, but here they are, nonetheless, in tex and pdf. I think it's the biggest document I've ever written.

My resume

I finally figured out how to write my resume in LaTeX. I've done a lot of googling, and I haven't found anything like it out there. Feel free to use it. I think there's a better way to do what I'm trying to do, but I haven't found the time yet to figure that out. It gives a lot of errors when I run it through latex. Please email me if you know a better way to do this. Here's the (somewhat) sanitized source of my resume.

Some things I've learned along the way...

Layout

Not being able to figure out how to have smaller margins is something that plagued me for a long time. here's the original way I did it:
\textwidth 6.65truein
\textheight 9.5truein
\oddsidemargin -0.2in
\topmargin -0.6in

This get the job done, more or less. A much better solution is to use the geometry package:
\usepackage[left=1in,top=1in,right=1in,bottom=1in,nohead]{geometry}
This defines one inch margins all around, with no header. Both of these go in the header.

To doublespace, put this in the header: \linespread{1.6}

I like to have some space between my paragraphs and not indent them. Put in the header:
\parskip 5pt
\parindent 0pt

Miscelaneous

I found a neat little package that allows you do to underlining and other font effects. It's called ulem. (\usepackage{ulem} in header)

You know that neat black filled in square you put at the end of a proof? Here's how you can do it in LaTeX: \hfill$\square$

I use this in my resume, but I'll include it here. I was looking for a smaller bullet point that \bullet but couldn't find one. So I made my own: \newcommand{\sbullet}{\,\begin{picture}(1,1)(0,-3)\circle*{3}\end{picture}\ }. This is for use in text mode. Not sure what it would do in math mode.

You know that funny way of writing letters to mean certain sets of numbers? Z is the integers, N is the natural numbers, and so on. It's called blackboard bold, and you can do it in LaTeX by including the packaged amssymb and then writing in math mode: \mathbb{Z}

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