/ Obtaining the Example Dissertation
/ For Further Assistance
The Graduate School requires consistency of style, correct grammar,
and, to the extent possible, idiomatic English. Additionally, the
Graduate School enforces conformance to various style elements such as
interline spacing, margin size, bold face and italics in titles, and
consistency of references. Fortunately, mathematicians and
computer scientists have the TeX / LaTeX
system available. With LaTeX, the computer will automatically
typeset formulas, tables, figures, text, and titles in a particular
style. Furthermore, the University of Louisiana's LaTeX
style file can be common to all theses typeset with LaTeX for the
University of Louisiana, with material particular to one's dissertation
in a generic plain-text form. That generic material can be sent
to any of the vast majority of mathematics journals, and the journal
will be able to professionally typeset the material in the
journal's style, with little or no alteration (that is,
with much less work than otherwise), simply by substituting
the journal's style file for the U.L. thesis style.
An extremely useful capability within the LaTeX system is BiBTeX
With BibTeX, one obtains or creates a database of references.
This database is in a flexible order, and specifies the type of
reference (book, journal article, etc.), title, author, and other
information, along with a short key. One cites these references within
the LaTeX file by inserting the key corresponding to the desired
reference at the desired citation point. BiBTeX then
automatically typesets a list of references, in a specified order, and
with a consistent style (e.g. book titles all italicized, all
references with consistent capitalization and punctuation). If
you cite additional references later, BiBTeX renumbers the references
for you, both where they are cited and in the reference list.
Furthermore, there are many BiBTeX databases on-line, and one can often
use these directly, without having to actually type the references into
a database. Nelson Beebe
maintains a large collection of BibTeX databases
Although LaTeX is not hard to use to typeset an article or
dissertation, modification of style files requires a bit more technical
LaTeX is distributed under a free license
although not all "front end" text editors used to compose the material
to be processed by LaTeX are free. (My favorite free editor is Texmaker
, while a good non-free editor for MS Windows, for which the Mathematics Department has sufficient licenses, is WinEdt
is a popular front end editor for Macs.
The American Mathematical Society
strongly recommends use of LaTeX
(By the way, TeX, Tau-Epsilon-Chi, is pronounced "Tek" as in
"tech"nical, according to its author Donald Knuth. LaTeX,
"lay-tek", is meant to be "layman's TeX".)
Obtaining the Example Dissertation
To comply with Graduate School Guidelines (click here to see these guidelines)
we produced a University of Louisiana at Lafayette style file.
Richard LeBlanc altered this style file to comply with the October,
2013 update to the Graduate School Guidelines
Richard also kindly let us post his dissertation, along with our style
file, as an example of a properly formatted dissertation. Click here to get a *.zip file containing the LaTeX source files for the dissertation
, as well as the *.pdf document produced from these source files. To produce the PDF yourself, do the following:
- Extract the *.zip file.
- Run LaTeX.
- Run BiBTeX.
- Run LaTeX again, twice.
(Steps 2, 3, and 4 can often be done with one or two buttons on a front-end editor such as Texmaker or WinEdt.)
Richard produced the style file ullthesis2014.cls by modifying our
earlier style file "ullthesis.cls", which in turn had been
modified from the standard LaTeX class report.cls by Hongtao Yang,
Julio Cesar Carrillo-Escobar, and me. A simple explanatory file,
with humor, for this earlier class, can be found here
This may be of some learning use to you, but you should use
ullthesis2014.cls for your actual dissertation.
For Further Assistance
A comprehensive reference to LaTeX is available online here as a Wikibook
There are pitfalls to use of LaTeX, and it takes longer to become
expert in it than systems that do less for you and produce less
professional results. However, most problems are easily resolved,
and people should feel free to ask. Please email me
(Ralph Baker Kearfott
or consult with your other favorite TeX guru, if you have
questions. Various faculty members in the Mathematics Department
are quite well versed in LaTeX. Also, be sure to contact me if
there are errors or needs for clarification on this web page.