DaSH meetup 5 February and LaTeX debrief

03 Feb 2016

Hi DaSHers,

Last week we had a session on LaTeX, please see a description below.

This week we don’t have anything specific apart from the usual time and space for people to meet and discuss data science in Hobart. Please come along:

When: 0915, Friday 5 February 2016


Rori Flex Room, ground floor IMAS Building

Here is a report from last week’s session:

We had a small number of engaged participants ranging from those interested in what LaTeX is, entry level users and experienced users. Tom gave a quick overview of what LaTeX is, referencing Rob’s blog and Tom’s LaTeX Training Document showing examples of the final PDF and the code that generated it. Specific questions regarding nuances of the workflow, or specific tasks (table, figures, referencing, collaboration) were addressed prompting lively discussion, especially around collaboration with non-latex users. Between latex users, collaborating through version control software is very powerful and the recommended way to encourage collaborating on these projects. However, it was recognised this is not compatible with some collaborator’s skills set, where alternative strategies are all sub-optimal, but can be workable. It was discussed how LaTeX is excellent for large complex documents (such as books, thesis or some Journals) but can be overkill for smaller projects, or where it becomes a barrier to collaboration. Tom showed some examples, or discussed the power of combining programming languages (such as R, Python, Matlab, bash, C, etc.) with LaTeX to automatically generate documents, giving examples of when this might be useful.