BY KAMIL HAMAD
LateX is typesetting software used in writing professional papers. LateX is a kind of word processor with lot of flexibility in formatting and adding special symbols and characters to it. LateX is widely used for writing research papers and dissertations by the academic communities around the world and is becoming a standard for writing professional papers.
The 2 hour LateX workshop was organized by IEEE SEECS as a part of PG course RM-898, Research Methodology. One of the aims of the workshop was to create awareness about LateX and its importance in the international academia by teaching it to students. Mr. Saad Saleh of Wisnet Lab was the primary speaker at the workshop who explained everything regarding this rather unfamiliar software before delivering live tutorials. Workshop started off exactly at scheduled time, 0630 pm. The workshop, which was chiefly organized for Post-Graduate students, unexpectedly, did not fail to attract them in large numbers. SEECS seminar hall was fully packed with mature, work ready faces of typical post graduate students. The level of eagerness amongst the participants could be judged by the fact that the hall was fully filled before the commencement of the workshop.
Mr. Saad Saleh started the seminar with a presentation which introduced the background of LateX including the benefits of using LateX over other typesetting softwares. He then explained the basic structure of a typical LateX document before moving on to live demonstrations. As Saad explained LateX documents are written in markup language with separate files for content and formatting. As soon as Mr. Saad started the tutorials, participants were so deeply engaged that one could hear nothing except for Saad’s voice and the tapping of keyboard keys. Feeling of triumph could be observed on faces of many people after they created their very first LateX document. Occasionally a question from the participants would interfere with the flow of the otherwise smooth going workshop. Skill of Saad and his grasp over the subject matter were reflected whenever he would answer queries.
Mr. Saad then took relatively longer time to show how to handle complexities such as writing mathematical equations and producing tables. As he explained that one of the main advantages of LateX over other more traditional systems (e.g. Word or OpenOffice) is the high typographical quality of the documents that a person can produce. This is particularly true for documents that are heavily dependent on mathematics due to the ease of processing of math symbols.
Mr. Saad then moved on to explain the IEEE format for professional papers such as conferences papers etc. He also gave links to the participants for acquiring the IEEE format in LateX format while explaining how to use it. He then taught how to manage references in a LateX document.
The workshop concluded at 0815 with a summary of why we should use LateX instead of other softwares. The participants seemed happy and satisfied with content and delivery of the workshop.
“The speaker was very thorough in teaching this new software. Although I am a UG student, it was amazing to learn something new”
Hamza Zamir Afridi