Friday, November 27, 2020

Remember LaTeX From Camp?

Hey high schoolers, remember Camp?

What might look like super hard STEM, with all those Ramanujan Identities, turns out, from another angle, to be typesetting.  As the typesetter for the mathematicians, you did not need a degree in whatever they were going on about, but you did need some skills when it came to arranging symbols.  That's setting type.

Thanks to Steve Jobs, who rescued business computing from being the unimaginative dullard monster  Microsoft / IBM had in mind, we got highly developed fonts a lot earlier than we might have.  

The only other technology that might have saved us, from the dreary fate MS DOS had laid out for us, was LaTeX, the brainchild of Donald Knuth. 

As it is, we got Apple LaserWriters and PageMaker and desktop publishing, and I got a job at CUE (Center for Urban Education).  That's when I picked up some of my skills as a trainer, and to some extent a desktop publisher.  

I usually got high marks for working with people.  Some of my lecture presentations might have been too weird for some tastes.  I wasn't auditioning for prime time commercial television, let's put it that way.

Anyway, coming back from Memory Lane:  remember our Covid Camp earlier this year?  Some of you might still be following.  

We didn't do a lot with LaTeX but we did explore Jupyter Notebooks, and their ability to make use of the LaTeX layer, a built-in JavaScript library I assume?  Right, the MathJax JavaScript library.