University of Malaya Thesis Class

I have developed a LaTeX class and template for writing an UM (University of Malaya) thesis, complying with the IGS Universiti Malaya IGS Guide to the Preparation of Research Reports, Disertations & Theses, for a friend pursuing her PhD there.

The LaTeX class and template files is available at Hopefully this will be helpful to UM students!

Talk at MOSC2011

My proposed talk on LaTeX has just been accepted by the organisers of MOSC2011.

Now I need to actually write the slides!

Anyway, I plan to speak on “LaTeX: More Than Just Academic Papers and Theses”. It won’t be a tutorial, rather I plan to give teasers of what LaTeX is capable of beyond the usual journal or conference articles.

This will also be my first time attending an OSS conference. I do rather feel queasy at the thought of being intimidated by crusty h4x0rs. :-)

UPDATE: The organisers have posted my speaker’s profile.

Making Leaflets with LaTeX

Just for fun, I thought I’d make some leaflets to accompany my poster presentation during a recent conference. It would be nice if I could reuse materials from my paper and poster, so I sought for a LaTeX solution, and that solution was the leaflet document class. It automatically sets up a layout for 6 small pages on 2 normal-sized paper pages, so that you can print the output PDF out on double pages, then fold it up into a real, er, leaflet.

Here are the thumbnails of my leaflet, and here are the source code. Notice the little mark (highlighted by the red circle) on the second page to guide you in folding the leaflet. Just make sure that you set your PDF viewer to “Do not scale pages” when printing the PDF.

Creating Academic Posters (and Printing Them)

I presented a poster paper at CICLing 2011 in Tokyo (that was the end of February so I wasn’t there during the earthquake, but it seems the organising committee members are all alright, thank heavens) and I naturally created my poster with LaTeX. Here’s a thumbnail of my poster:

I created this A0-sized poster (source code the TikZ drawings and CJK characters are externalised as PDF graphics and the bibliography embedded, so it should be compilable on most LaTeX installations without extra packages) with the beamerposter package, mainly by modifying Rob Hyndman’s style file. (There are other packages for creating posters in LaTeX, see this link for an overview.)

You can download my .sty and a simple sample poster .tex files here. I’ve put the colour themes (ComingClean in the left thumbnail, ConspiciousCreep on the right, inspired by this and this respectively) in their own separate .sty files. ConspiciousCreep is probably not so suitable for an academic poster… but perhaps it could be useful for a not-so-serious occasion.

Note that the sample poster is A1-sized; change the poster size in the .tex file as you require. I also defined a \footimage command that can be used to put whatever material you want in the bottom right hand corner. (I included photos of the authors in my poster not because of vanity, but because the organisers asked us to do so, so that it’d be easier for participants to locate the relevant authors.)

I brought my A0-sized PDF along to a printing shop who happily printed it out on one glorious giant A0-sized synthetic paper material. However, if you have trouble finding a printing shop who can print out these big sizes, you can use the pdfposter utility (available on all major GNU/Linux distros) to process your PDF into smaller-sized tiles. For example, if the input LLTposter-sample.pdf is A1-sized, then

pdfposter -s1 -ma4 LLTposter-sample.pdf a4tiles.pdf

will take the input file LLTposter-sample.pdf, split it into 8 A4 pages and save them in a4tiles.pdf. You can then print out the A4 pages and assemble them back into an A1-sized poster at the conference venue. (-s1 means no resizing of the original poster size, hence A1 as the result.) Enjoy!