Durham University News

Formation of human tissue to improve drug testing and reduce animal research
Innovative three dimensional (3D) cell culture technology is giving scientists the ability to grow realistic human tissues for more effective drug testing while reducing the need for animal research.

Durham’s cosmology research lights up London
Research by Durham University scientists into the evolution of galaxies will light up London as part of a major festival.

Philanthropist, filmmaker and children's champion receive honorary degrees
A leading philanthropist, a pioneering filmmaker and a children’s champion were awarded honorary degrees as thousands of students graduated from Durham University.

Work to begin on new colleges and student facilities
Work to develop new college and student facilities at Durham University will begin within weeks.


All of the mathematics computing services are maintained within the department. As a result, they tend to be fast and reliable, but it is possible to encounter problems occasionally. The first place to look is the compinfo site on a computer within the department. This contains a wealth of important information, as well as some useful tips and tricks. Should you encounter a problem that isn't addressed there then email maths help, or visit Bernard Piette (CM339), Mark Short (CM331) or Helen Griffiths (CM338).


All computers in offices in the mathematics department run Fedora, a Linux distribution. Linux has as much (if not more) functionality than Windows, is well supported and there is a wide selection of free software available for it. Below are some helpful links for finding your way around Linux. Due to the open-source nature of Linux, if a solution to a problem cannot be found in the below pages then a Google search will more than likely yield an answer.

  • Useful Commands
    A collection of basic terminal commands for those starting on Linux.
  • Linux in the Maths department
    Information about the departmental configuration and some useful tips.
  • Linux Help
    Guides, blogs and a forum for various aspects of Linux setup and problem solving.
  • CPT Computing Course
    Reference materials for an old computing course run by the Physics CPT department.
  • Fedora Forums
    A good place to look for solutions to Fedora-specific problems or queries.

This list is by no means exhaustive: if you find a website that you feel should be included on the list, then let us know!


LaTeX is regarded as the best and easiest way to input mathematics via computer. One inputs code into a .tex file, which is then compiled by any one of a number of TeX compilers to produce .pdf, .ps or .dvi file outputs. A .tex file can be written in any text editor (such as Notepad or Emacs) and compiled from command line using 'tex', it can be written in an editor such as Kile or Texmaker, or one can use a 'WYSIWYM' editor such as LyX. As always, there is a huge community of users online on hand to solve any problems you may encounter, and there are a number of resources available within the department.

For more information on Latex, including paper, poster and thesis templates, see the Papers and Posters page.



As a Postgraduate in the Maths department you are allocated your own web space on the university servers. It is advisable to put at least a blank 'home.html' page in your 'public_html' folder in your home directory, to avoid people being able to see the contents of your folders. The html page will link to 'http://www.maths.dur.ac.uk/~username/' and will be viewable by everyone once you make sure everybody has 'read' permissions ('chmod +r home.html' from terminal or right-click and change the permissions from explorer). If you wish to make more than a blank page, then there are plenty of resources online to learn html and css. A good place to start is W3 Schools for a interactive reference guide to the commands in html and css. Similarly, this CSS tutorial is a good place to begin for the finer details of style sheets.

Other Programming Links
Below are some potentially useful links for programming and computing in general.

Last modified on 08th January, 2016 at 17:57:05
© Andrew Iskauskas.