Sunday, June 5, 2011

Update on Work to be done

I thought I would update since I hadn't posted in quite some time. I've just finished my Undergraduate Degree in Applied Mathematics, and I've just been awarded the Teacher's Assistant position for the next two years. This comes with a bit of a tutoring stint, so I've become rather motivated in getting my tutorials up to par for next semester. Maybe if direct tutoring doesn't help students my tutorials can help them further. Also it will help me review the material quite a bit so that I am well prepared to tutor students for higher level math. I suspect most people will have trouble with Calculus and usually the reason that is true is because people never really do well with Algebra. Despite usually passing an Algebra class at the High School level... it does not mean they've learned enough to succeed in Calculus.

Also, I am thinking about switching programs for my Tutorials. Right now I am writing them in Mathematica, and they look fine, but there's a professional quality that is just sort of missing. After speaking with my professors, they made a good point about how it was designed. If you design something to do this one thing and then you want it to do this other somewhat unrelated thing... then it's not going to perform as well as you'd want. I feel this is true, because even though Mathematica is on version 8 at this time, I would still not consider publishing documents with it. The formatting for written documents is really frustrating to deal with. Instead I'm probably going to switch over to LaTeX, which is very widely used in the mathematics community. I just need to learn all the syntax for writing up the documents and then I will start switching everything over. For the time being I am still going to use Mathematica to write my tutorials, luckily Mathematica can be extracted into a TeX file so I can convert it when I know more about writing in LaTeX.

That's about it for now... I do have some interesting articles brewing in my head, but for now I think I'll be focusing on writing the tutorials for a while. They actually take me a long time to write, so they are rather time consuming. Anyway, I'm off to write another one now.


  1. Try fiddling around with LyX, it's a graphical editor for LaTeX that's pretty damn helpful, I used to use it primarily for LaTeX documents. Eventually I learned LaTeX fully, but for most applications it's just simpler to use LyX.

    Check out "The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX", it's a great starting point:

  2. Bollocks, my link got stripped by accident: there you go.

  3. I actually picked up a "How to..." book on LaTeX published by Springer. It seems quite thorough. My main motivation for doing this is because the Mathematics publishing community typically uses LaTeX. This will help force me to learn it, essentially.