Tools

When writing reports for this class, I strongly encourage you to use some tools that are commonly used in computer science.

Writing Papers

To write papers, please use LaTeX, which is a system of text formatting programs. LaTeX is a useful publishing tool in the academic world, as it automatically formats documents in many commonly-used styles. Because LaTeX separates content from style, you will find that it helps you to focus on what you want to say in your report, rather than what your report looks like.

To help you learn LaTeX, I am including a LaTeX tutorial I wrote, complete with tables, figures, and bibliography. The included examples use the IEEE article and bibliography styles. These styles are typically used for submission to many IEEE conferences. These files include documentation on how to use them, and my examples give you further advice.

You should also consult the LaTeX book on WikiBooks.

Creating Graphs

To create graphs, you should use Python with the matplotlib library. By using a scripting language to create your plots, it will be easy to generate professional-looking plots. You can also quickly create a large number of plots and easily change the formatting of the plot with a few simple changes to your script.

If you are using your own machine, install with pip:

sudo pip install matplotlib

Example code coming soon.

Creating Figures

Where they are helpful, you are encouraged to include your own figures in your reports. I suggest using Inkscape or a similar vector drawing program. Be sure to use a tool that saves in SVG format, so you can easily scale your figures to new sizes.