Mathematical Word Processing

Typesetting mathematics in a professional way requires more than basic word processing.  While Microsoft Word and Google Docs both have equation editors, the resulting output is not "typeset quality" like you would find in a textbook.  To create professional quality mathematical notation, LaTeX is the current standard used by journal article and textbook authors.

LaTeX is a professional typesetting system designed by Leslie Lamport to work with the original TeX formatting system created by Donald Knuth in the 1970s. While LateX is not "what you see is what you get" editing like the equation editor, it produces really professional looking documents. There is a learning curve involved in getting comfortable with the LaTeX commands, but thanks to the internet it is easy to find advice and examples to help format almost anything.

Accessing LaTeX

  • Overleaf (website): An online free (with paid premium enhancements) interface for producing LaTeX documents. This is a great place to start, since there is no software to install and a free account allows you to save and store documents.
  • TeXWorks (software): For those who want a local copy of the software to use on their mac, PC, or Linux/Unix machines.  There are several steps to installation, but once installed it works similarly to Overleaf. There are many other software packages that also work well: MacTeXMikTeX, for example.

Learning LaTeX Document Structure and Commands

There are many resources out there on typesetting in LaTeX. Here are a few of the more comprehensive guides. It may be easiest to start with a report, slide or poster template like those below.

Reports and Papers with LaTeX

Starting with a template for a document is the fastest way to get up and running with LaTeX.  The links below are to files suitable for uploading into overleaf (tex) or word (docx).

Slides and Posters with LaTeX

The beamer class of documents in LaTeX is designed for producing slides and posters in LaTeX. Thanks to Bill Bauldry, there is an App State poster theme for Beamer. For general advice on giving a professional presentation, see How To Give a Talk: Advice on Preparing and Presenting Technical Talks in the Mathematical Sciences by Tamara G. Kolda, Sandia National Labs.

Some templates in zip file format suitable for uploading into overleaf (need AppState Login to the google drive):