The Productive Scholar: Rebecca Louie on using LaTeX

The LaTeX logo, typeset with LaTeX
Image via Wikipedia
There is a fantastic free tool that you can use to create high quality, professional documents in the humanities, arts, and sciences, and Rebecca Louie knows all about it.

Louie, a member of Princeton University’s Academic Services, returned to talk again about LaTeX (prounounced lah-tech) at The Productive Scholar on March 8th, 2012. The video of her talk is below. LaTeX is described on their project homepage as:

…A high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation. LaTeX is the de facto standard for the communication and publication of scientific documents. LaTeX is available as free software.

In her talk, Louie described how LaTeX defines page layout and document structure and makes use of global commands, which affect headers, page numbering, line spacing margins, and the  document as a whole.

She also introduced the audience to packages, a set of over 2000 add-ons for LaTeX, whch offer additional layout and typesetting commands and extend LaTeX’s functionality.  Ample documentation is available for packages, and depending on the package, the documentation may just be a few pages or hundreds of pages. Packages offer extensibility in math, symbols, diagrams, graphics, and many more areas.

Louie talked for some time about commands, environments, equations, templates, shortcut definitions, and tables in LaTeX, and suggested that the audience look at her resources linked below for more information on these and other topics.

Louie provided a cheatsheet for LaTeX available at, and suggested a LaTeX book, “A Guide to LATEX: Document Preparation for Beginners and Advanced Users” available at

Here is her presentation in PDF format.

productive scholar talk

Here is a good Thesis template fpr Princeton: Please open it in NotePad or a similar text editor:

Finally, here is the video of her presentation.

And here are the abstract and bio for this talk.

LaTeX Tips and Tricks
Rebecca Louie
This talk will cover the basics of LaTeX, the typesetting language for producing scientific and technical manuscripts. It will touch on some of the useful packages that can be used with LaTeX as well as document layout and formatting, and some useful tricks to save time. If you don’t use LaTeX every day, it can be difficult to remember everything that’s required but there are ways to make it easier if you only use it occasionally – setting up templates and shortcut commands for the things you do most can help a lot. Even though you may be comfortable with Word, LaTeX produces a much nicer, cleaner looking, document and many publishers require it.
About the speaker:
Rebecca Louie, as part of the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics for 12 years, worked with professors to produce manuscripts, grant proposals, class handouts and notes, letters, and presentations using LaTeX. Rebecca is currently the Administrative Assistant for Academic Services, OIT.

Productive Scholar: John LeMasney on Using Inkscape

SVG Logo of Inkscape
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Thursday, September 22,
12:00 noon

Frist Multipurpose Room A
Using Inkscape
John LeMasney
Inkscape is an open source drawing application used generally as a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Visual learners benefit greatly from the presence of illustrations of concepts, and Inkscape allows you to quickly move an idea from verbal to visual. Come learn how to get and use this powerful vector based application that runs on Windows, Mac OS, Linux and other operating systems.
About the speaker:

John LeMasney has been the Manager of Technology Training and Instructional Technology at Rider University for 12 years. He is also a local technology and design consultant dedicated to sharing the rewards of using open source software. He received his MA in Organizational Leadership from Rider University in 2009.


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