[OS X TeX] Latex for beginning math students

ADITYA D TRIVEDI atrivedi2 at student.gsu.edu
Tue Aug 24 17:30:10 EDT 2004

Alain Schremmer>
>Would it be possible to design some sort of micro LaTeX package that 
>could be put in the hand of beginning math students for them to 
>communicate with their teacher?
>Of course, the students I am thinking of already have trouble with 
>Word's math editor.
>In other words, it would have to be completely macro driven from a much 
>simplified "LaTeX panel" in TeXshop.
>What I am asking is what kind of work would be involved and what 
>background would be necessary.

Let me try to steer away from that path. Here's why:
1) Students dont learn "LaTeX". If they ever need to use it again, they will have to relearn LaTeX.
2) Your specialized macros will need a lot of maintenance. I often find that first attempts at solving user issues are never the last ones.

My suggestion:
1) Use one class to show them how to do basic stuff that you expect them to do. Show them how to use the latex environment (in your case gwTeX + TeXShop).
2) Give them a copy of The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX. Or atleast give them the link to it. 
Make sure they have the tables which tells them how to typeset \alpha, \sum, etc.
3) Mentionthe verbatim environment. If there are some hard things they cannot figure out, they can use it (only inthe beginning) to have a crude output. They can change that when they learn more.

I beieve this is a better solution in the short term and in the long term. It will create more independent LaTeX users.


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