PhD thesis proposal

23Jun11

I’m starting (1 year already done) my PhD so I have to make a thesis proposal (they call it thesis project) for the university.

As a fan of typography, I produce almost all my documents using LaTeX type system. And when they are long I put the source code into git versioning. This time, and following Will Robertson‘s idea, I decided to place the code in a public repository: https://gitorious.org/csousa-phd-thesis-project.

I’m not completely sure if this is a good (secure) idea, but quoting Will:

I also believe that all academic research should be made more open. This is a small step towards such a philosophy.

Notice, however, that the work is copyrighted and no rights are given to reproduce or modify it.

Anyway, I don’t expect the content of my thesis proposal to have value for outside. Instead, I’m making it public because of Latex source structure.

The key points of this document latex source are:

  • the use of memoir class, with a separated package for customization;
  • the use of glossaries package for acronym list;
  • the use of biblatex (yes, not bibtex) for bibliography (configured to use biber);
  • the use of microtypography;
  • the use of latexmk, with a local rc file for glossaries files; and
  • being split across several .tex and .sty (package) files.

For this document pdflatex is used. For others, when I want to play with fonts, I use lualatex with Will’s fontspec package.

As a note, I use bibliography .bib file from Mendeley. I’ve configured it to generate one file per collection, so that for each document I write I create a dedicated collection and copy relevant references to it.

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