A very intriguing setup for writing math notes live in LaTeX by Gilles Castel:

I started using LaTeX to write lecture notes in the second semester of my bachelor in mathematics, and I’ve been using it ever since, which makes for a total of more than 1700 pages of notes….

These lecture notes—including figures—are made while attending the lecture and have not been edited afterwards. To make note taking using LaTeX viable, I had four goals in mind:

  • Writing text and mathematical formulas in LaTeX should be as fast as the lecturer writing on a blackboard: no delay is acceptable.
  • Drawing figures should be almost as fast as the lecturer.
  • Managing notes, i.e. adding a note, compiling all my notes, compiling the last two lectures, searching in notes, etc. should be easy and quick.
  • Annotating pdf documents using LaTeX should be possible for when I want to write notes alongside a pdf document.

This blog post will focus on the first item: writing LaTeX.

It must have been a ton of work to set this up, but the end product is very impressive: take a look at the example notes in his post. I would love to have notes of this quality from my college and grad school coursework.

See also the author’s Quora post on this topic.

Max Masnick, PhD @max

© Max Masnick. Views expressed here are mine alone.