Throughout my academic career one thing that was repeatedly enforced was that if you were claiming something to be true in a paper, you needed to show results to prove it or cite a credible source that had those results. It took a lot of effort in those pre-Google Scholar and pre-Arxiv days1. Reading the journals, being aware of retractions and clarifications and building the evidence to support your own work took time2. Writing up my thesis was painful solely because of finding the right references for things that were “known”. I had several excellent reviewers who sent me back copies of my thesis with “citation needed” where I’d stated things as facts without a reference. My tutor at Oxford was very clear on this: without a citation, it’s your opinion not a fact. Continue reading Citation Needed – without it you have opinion not facts
True Type Fonts in LaTeX: a brief guide
One of the things I love about is how customisable it is. Separating content from design a long time before web design cottoned on to this. However, out of the box, comes with very limited fonts and most people just use these defaults, mainly because setting up other fonts isn’t as easy as it should be.
One of the great things about drawing diagrams in is that the fonts match, it’s always a little jarring to my eye when I see papers with a mismatch between diagrams and main text. However, sometimes you just can’t control what’s in your diagram or you want something a little more modern than Times New Roman for whatever you’re putting together.
So how do you go about doing this? Like most things, the answer is “it depends”… let’s start with an assumption that you’re starting from scratch and if you’re already a few steps down the process then that’s just less work for you to do 🙂 Continue reading True Type Fonts in LaTeX: a brief guide
Creative writing – harder than it looks
As a child I wrote a lot of stories. I think my English teachers were disappointed that I chose a Science route rather than literature. However, just like art, creative writing is something I’ve continued to pursue throughout my technical career (when I’ve felt creative enough!). I wrote a novel during my PhD that I’ve not yet revisited to see if it’s worth publishing1 and have always jumped at opportunities to write articles and blog posts about the things that interest me. However, I have had one idea for a book bubbling in my mind for the last twenty years and I have never really had the time to focus on it properly. Continue reading Creative writing – harder than it looks
Writing for other websites
Towards the end of 2016, I didn’t post as much content as I usually like to on here. While there are all the usual excuses of free time, the main reason was that a lot of the ideas I had were being written for other websites. So here’s a collection of my posts from the last few months of last year that didn’t make it on here. Continue reading Writing for other websites