17 Dec 2016 by austen

In the summer I agreed to give a talk to the Cambridge University Physics Society a.k.a. CUPS. I took the opportunity to talk about the Kardar–Parisi–Zhang equation – one of my current obsessions – but also to learn about some new presentation tools. For quite a few years I’ve used Beamer to create presentations in LaTeX. Presenting mathematics in PowerPoint or Keynote involves too much dragging around of little boxes, which really breaks up the workflow.

Things move on, however, and in recent years a number of browser-based options for rendering slides in HTML have appeared: things like Slidy and reveal.js, to name just two. I plumped for reveal.js just because it seemed popular and was easy to get going with (and because I was having a crazy term and there was less than a week to go). Also pandoc. You can see the result here. I was pleased with how it turned out, and see myself making the transition to one of these tools in my conference presentations. I’d like to give the very impressive looking impress.js a try, but perhaps that’s a bit too flash.

10 Dec 2016 by austen

My web pages are in serious need of an overhaul. In the past I’ve built my sites using RapidWeaver, but it was never particularly future proof: something always needed updating.

Now I’m switching to Jekyll, which I used for the first time over the summer. Relative to a WYSIWYG editor it’s a bit more work, but you feel like you know what’s going on under the bonnet. There’s a large ecosystem, lots of themes, free hosting on GitHub Pages. The ease of writing in Markdown and rendering mathematics with MathJax is wonderful.

\[ \int f(x)\,dx \]


It would be great to integrate this with Symplectic and / or ORCID to get an automatically updated publication list. Let’s see.