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
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
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
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
, 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
available for Windows, Mac, and Linux (eg. Ubuntu). TeXShop
is a popular front end editor for Macs.
use of LaTeX
(By the way, TeX, Tau-Epsilon-Chi, is pronounced "TeCh" as in
"tech"nical, according to its creator Donald Knuth. LaTeX,
"lay-tek", is meant to be "layman's TeX".)
To comply with Graduate
School Guidelines (click here to see these guidelines)
produced a University of Louisiana at Lafayette style file.
Graduating Mathematics Ph.D. candidates have altered it in recent years
to comply with changing Graduate
. The most recent version has been posted
on November 16, 2017, as modified by Dr. Lihong Zhao, who used it to
typeset her dissertation using the most recent Graduate School
here to get a *.zip file containing the LaTeX source files, to be used
as a template, and UL thesis class
, as well as the *.pdf document
produced from these source files. The idea is for you to
replace the humorous commentary by your dissertation material. 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.)
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
), or consult with your other favorite TeX guru, if
you have questions. Various faculty members in the Mathematics
Department are well versed in LaTeX. Also, be sure to contact me
if there are errors or needs for clarification on this web page.