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At Long Last, The MathCats Blog

This Tuesday, I was sitting at a table on the second floor of the Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library with approximately twenty-three minutes to kill before I had to go to the lab and fling some electrons around in glass tubes when inspiration struck. "Hey," I thought, "maybe it would be good to make a post on the MathCats website like I said I would at the very beginning of the semester." This moment of inspiration, dear reader, is what brings us to this here blog entry. I'm not too sure what to put here, but I'll try out the ideas I do have, which will hopefully result in a more or less cohesive piece of work. In theory, I would like to post one of these every Thursday from this week on.



Weekly Meeting Recap

The primary focus of this week's regular meeting was LaTeX. This program is great for fulfilling all your typesetting needs, especially those that involve equations. It is the official opinion of the MathCats officers is that having at least passing familiarity with its use is a very valuable skill indeed (I didn't actually consult the other three on this, but I am pretty sure they would agree). Here is a list of resources for those of you interested in checking it out:

  • Overleaf and Overleaf documentation, arguably the best resources available for a LaTeX beginner

  • lshort, AKA "A (Not So) Short Guide to LaTeX2ε"

  • The LaTeX Project, has a lot of links to introductory materials, info on different distributions, etc.

  • The Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List

  • Detexify, a great website where you can draw a symbol and it will tell you the appropriate command and package to use

  • r/LaTeX, specifically a really good post on commonly used LaTeX packages

  • StackExchange thread comparing various LaTeX editors

  • For what it's worth, I would suggest sticking with Overleaf or a simpler app like TeXmaker until you're relatively experienced. Then, maybe check out some other options, or keep using those if they work well for you!

  • Another StackExchange thread with a bunch of examples of people being obscenely good at using LaTeX. Seriously, check this out.

I had planned to upload the .tex file for yesterday's slides like you guys asked, but apparently Wix says I am not allowed to do that. That's okay though, it would be a pretty bad example for getting started. I would suggest looking elsewhere for those. One thing I will do since it's not a terrible eyesore is put an example of my default preamble for a typical math assignment:


\documentclass[12pt,letterpaper]{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[margin=1in]{geometry} % page layout
\usepackage{amsmath, amssymb, amsthm} % math symbols
\usepackage{mathtools}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\title{Math Homework 4}
\author{Ethan Morgan}

% HEADERS - name on top left, date on top right, page number on bottom center
\pagestyle{fancy}
\fancyhf{}
\rhead{\today}
\lhead{Ethan Morgan}
\cfoot{\thepage}
\setlength{\headheight}{15pt}

% NEW COMMANDS AND MATH AESTHETICS - mostly shortcuts to commonly used symbols
\renewcommand\qedsymbol{$\blacksquare$}
\newcommand{\R}{\mathbb{R}}
\newcommand{\es}{\emptyset}
\newcommand{\Q}{\mathbb{Q}}
\newcommand{\Z}{\mathbb{Z}}
\newcommand{\N}{\mathbb{N}}
\newcommand{\CC}{\mathbb{C}}
\newcommand{\F}{\textbf{F}}

If you guys come up with any questions regarding LaTeX, feel free to email me or one of the other officers, submit the contact form on this page, or post it on the Discord.



Tea Session Recap

Nobody actually showed up to this last tea session, but that's okay because I had to sign off a little early anyway. I still had tea though, specifically 6.21g of the 2012 Xiaguan Jia Ji tuocha (box pictured below).


Oh yeah, it's crane gang time. I'm gonna go ahead and cut this section off before I turn this in to a tea blog (if you want me to turn this in to a tea blog let me know, I'll do whatever the people demand).



Some Random Stuff

  • Music Recommendation: Popol Vuh - Hosianna Mantra

  • Weird mix of electronic/acoustic ambient music from the early 70s, manages to be both a very engaging listen and excellent background music at the same time. Probably my 11th favorite album that I heard for the first time this year (out of 153). Come back next week to find out what number 10 was, unless somebody has a request for a particular genre.

  • Amusing Video: An Apple

  • Significant Video: the origin of the club's name*

  • Interesting Video: the world's first electronic voice synthesizer, 1939 World's Fair


Alright, well, that's gonna wrap it up for this post. Let me know what you guys think or if there's anything you would like me to add to/subtract from next week's. Also, keep an eye out for a set of interesting math problems, which should be going up sometime between now and next week's meeting. Peace out!



* not really


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