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Posts from January 2017

Custom Homework Class in LaTeX

Tuesday, Jan. 24th, 2017 11:34a.m.

I have been using the exam class by Philip Hirschhorn in LaTeX to write out homework and tests for my class, The Epidemiology of Everyday Life. It allows me to write out problems with the ease of mathematical notation in LaTeX, provide solutions that can be turned on and off with a single line of code, and to easily tally points on various pages. If you haven't used it and teach a stats-based course, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

I ran into a problem, however, because I am a procrastinating perfectionist. I have had a desired to have all of my teaching handouts to have a similar look. I created a custom syllabus class to do that, and I really liked it. I wanted the homework to have the same look. And what better way to procrastinate than to try to figure out the arcane rules of LaTeX!?

  tags: LaTeX, teaching category: Programming

workflow directory structure that plays nicely with LaTeX

Monday, Jan. 2nd, 2017 10:51a.m.

I really like using LaTeX for writing, both articles and for teaching. I find that it eliminates many of the hassles of using Word. I started trying to figure out how to write my own packages this past year and ran into many problems. One of those problems was figuring out a way to keep the .sty packages in a directory that I could easily access and that would be convenient for my workflow rather than what the LaTeX directory structure enforced.

The LaTeX search path includes two environment variables: TEXMFHOME and TEXMFLOCAL that determine where you would store .sty files to be recognized by LaTeX. If you follow the excellent instructions [here][texmf], you can use the Linux program kpsewhich to find where those paths are. For me they were at /Users/<USERNAME>/Library/texmf and /Users/<USERNAME>/Library/texmf-local, respectively.

  tags: LaTeX, linux, texmf category: Programming

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