Computing

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).


Linux

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.



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

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.


Programming

Webpages

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.



© Andrew Iskauskas.