P.H. Trinh

Student BSc/MMath writeup

Some notes to help students write up.


Use the prepared thesis format. You may prefer to tweak this to your satisfaction (e.g. you may prefer a report-style rather than a book-style).

This documentclass uses the memoir package and you can look up the memoir documentation.


Best to use natbib in conjunction with bibtex. See the .bib file in thesis-template. Use Google Scholar to quickly obtain the metadata for bibtex.

Illustrations + Images:

Images take time to create! (At least) two choices:

1. If you have nice handwriting, draw your images on paper and scan using an app like Camscanner. Produce .jpeg files of the images. This can look very nice (if you are meticulous), is a huge time saver, and can be used for prototyping for the final product.

2. Use a vector graphics editor like Inkscape to create the images.

If you want a truly professional format, use LaTeX overpic package to annotate the images. Again this takes time.

Outputting images from Matlab

You may be using Matlab to create graphics. Some considerations:

1. Save all data or all scripts. Get in the habit of save data as .mat files and scripts that will plot the data. This means if you ever need to regenerate pictures, you can do it very easily.

2. Similar to above, you may want to save .fig files of the pictures. Again it allows fine-tuning. (In fact you can extract raw data from .fig files via scripts).

3. Use export_fig packakge (Matlab file exchange) to export to pdf format. In general, output to PDF format unless the image is very detail-heavy (surface plots, contour plots, etc.). This ensures that the image is scalable and crisp.

4. Use a similar startup.m script below to set figure defaults. This ensures that axis labels are appropriately sized.

	% Example startup file 
	% This adds all paths recursively from the directory
	% This adds a single path
	addpath ~/mysinglepath/
	% Set figure default to something more pragmatic
	colordef white
	set(0, 'Units', 'pixels');
	set(0, 'defaultaxesfontsize', 18, 'defaultaxeslinewidth', 1, ...
	        'defaultlinelinewidth', 1, 'defaultpatchlinewidth', .7, ...
	        'defaultAxesFontSize', 18);
	set(0,'DefaultFigureColor','w', ...
	close all
	% Add the starting path
	cd ~/mystartingpath/