I’m teaching mathematical modeling in the spring. This is an upper-level (senior) course, and I think I’m going to take the opportunity to have students use LaTeX to typeset some of their work.

Some of my colleagues have students learn LaTeX in mid-level mathematics major courses like Transitions to Higher Mathematics and Modern Algebra, I think. Some might even ask students in Linear Algebra, a course for minors, to use LaTeX. I share this for two reasons. First, it makes my thought of requiring my modeling students to do some LaTeX-ing seem reasonable. Second, I want to make it clear that I do not make students LaTeX in any course I’ve taught. LaTeX is beautiful, but I feel the pain-to-pleasure ratio for new learners is too high for me to add it to a course requirement for mid-level or lower classes.

Twitter colleaguesSteven Clontz (@StevenXClontz) and Drew Lewis (@siewlwerd) have shared how they use Overleaf to deliver LaTeX templates to students, and I think this is something I’m going to try in my modeling class.

Drew sets up a git repository of LaTeX templates on GitHub. Then in Overleaf, they create a Open in Overleaf link that points to the files on GitHub. A student clicks on the link and a copy of the templates opens for the student in Overleaf! Easy peasy!

The syntax for such a link looks like this. To open in Overleaf a file hosted at http://www.example.org/file.tex use the URL https://www.overleaf.com/docs?snip_uri=https://www.example.org/file.tex.

In a day or two, I’ll update this post to include a concrete example using my GitHub account. And maybe I’ll include more details about how to create a repo on GitHub for the files.

It’s also worth noting that is there are template LaTeX files on GitHub, students can download them directly and work on them in their LaTeX environment of choice.