Introduction to LaTeX:
typeset your own
science/engineering papers.


About this course

LaTeX is the standard mark-up language for professional typesetting of scientific and engineering documents (from papers to books). This will be a hands on seminar. It will cover from installation of LaTeX and of a text editor to producing a document with tables, figures and equations. Students are encouraged to bring their own laptop computer.

Practical Information

Where & When

Spring 2020 remote instruction: from home

Wednesdays, 2:00 pm - 2:50 pm.

Office Hours

Zoom or Skype meetings, by request:
(send email to bgrinstein (AT)

Prerequisites and Requirements

No previous coding knowledge required. Good disposition.

Access to a laptop computer is required, with:

  • A couple of GB of space on your hard drive (for LaTeX installation)
  • An internet connection
  • Administrator credentials on your laptop to install software

Teaching Evaluations

If the Dept. of Physics produces its own evaluations of instruction you will be asked to click HERE (Open Wed XXXX, 2020 2:00pm- 2:50pm).


Grading is exclusively by work done in (remote) class/attendance.

You will upload your work:

  • Within the last 5 min of lecture save your *.tex and produce a *.pdf output of your work
  • New this quarter: I am trying Canvas for the upload of your work. It will show up as weekly assignments that are due by the end of the class but can be submitted up to a week later.
  • If that fails: upload to Dropbox . Fill in your First and Last Name and email address fields as requested.
  • Your grade is derived from counting these: for a "P" grade you must submit at least 80%.
  • If you must miss a class please let the instructor know (by email), and have a reasonable explanation.


Course Notes

These are intended as partly notes, partly listing of what is covered. Full(er) explanations will be given in the course, as we type away! Course slides are available here.

Fast Forward

The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX2e is also availabe in many languages.

LaTeX Wikibook (PDF)

Instead of downloading this pdf you can, of course, just consult the wikibook online.


Some of the challenges presented in class, directly form the class-slides. Will add to this as the course progresses. For the last exercise, you need the UCSD Tritons image gl-5-triton.png.


Benjamin Grinstein

Professor of Physics

Prof. Grinstein's research interests are in Particle Physics and Quantum Field Theory. He uses TeX and LaTeX routinely to prepare his manuscripts and notes. He learned TeX as a grad student a million years ago.



Office: Mayer Hall 5230


+1 858 534 5229

Prof. Grinstein is available for office hours on request. Best to send him an email or call him to arrange for a meeting. You are welcome to show up at his office unannounced, but you may find yourself waiting in line or just not finding him.