Getting Started with LaTeX

Did you know that there is a nice way to type math notation? Like \[ f(x) = 3x^2 + \ln(x) - \sqrt{x-8} \in \mathscr{F}\big([8,\infty)\big) \] This is based on the document typesetting system LaTeX. To say it simply, LaTeX is a markup language, kinda like a programming language, that makes it easy to type mathematics. It is the standard tool professional mathematicians and other scientists use to draft papers and notes. It’s not hard to learn: here’s the syntax for that equation.


\begin{equation*}
    f(x) = 3x^2 + \ln(x) - \sqrt{x-8} \in \mathscr{F}\big([8,\infty)\big)
\end{equation*}

The website Overleaf is designed to allow teams to collaborate on documents written with LaTeX, kinda like how Google Docs works with typical documents. Getting started with LaTeX, I’d advise you to use Overleaf. I’ve written a small annotated LaTeX file in Overleaf that you can copy to get started. After logging into Overleaf you can click Copy Project under the Menu in the top-left of the page. To provide guidance on learning the LaTeX language:

A related bit of software that might interest you is TeX for Gmail. This is a chrome browser extension that allows you to type mathematics in an email using LaTeX’s syntax. Note that the default output/product for LaTeX is a PDF file. You should use either MathJax or KaTeX to render math on a webpage like I’ve done here.