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A LaTeX Fledgling Struggles to Take Flight

Peter L. Flom


I'm writing with two groups in mind: Beginners, and people who write for beginners. I'd like to offer both groups some perspective from someone who is just a little way along the path. I'd like to let the true beginners know that it is possible to learn LaTeX; after only a few months of intermittent use, I can do a lot - I have written entire articles in LaTeX, some of them with quite complicated organizational structure and with fairly intimidating formulas; I've also started doing some presentations in LaTeX, using the Beamer package. If I can do it, you can. I'd like to give the teachers the perspective of a recent beginner, so that their efforts can have maximum reward; when I consider that so many people contribute to LaTeX, often without any monetary reward, I imagine that those people would like to have their efforts help as many people as possible to use LaTeX easily and well.

Peter Flom is the Assistant Director of Statistics and Data Analysis Core, Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, National Development and Research Institutes. He is also an independent consultant assisting researchers in the social and behavioral sciences with statistics. He began using LaTeX in the summer of 2004. Peter may be contacted at mailto

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