Professor Kate Poirier | OL67 | Fall 2020

Category: Assignment Instructions (Page 5 of 5)

OpenLab assignment: typing math in LaTeX

Due Sunday, September 6, 11:59pm

What is \LaTeX?

Throughout the semester, you’ll be asked to submit complete written solutions in your own posts on the OpenLab. One way to do this is to upload a photo of work you wrote on paper and upload it as a picture to include in your post. You could also just type the work directly into your post. The regular keyboard can do a lot, but it won’t look that great and you’ll be missing useful math characters like \int and \frac{d}{dx}.

Instead, you can use the most commonly used math typesetting language, called \LaTeX (pronounced LAY-teck) right in your OpenLab posts. \LaTeX is a software system/markup language for typesetting math. It’s used widely to prepare research papers, technical reports, and other documents requiring mathematical symbols. A lot of you are planning on going into technical fields, and might find getting to know how to typeset math in \LaTeX to be useful. It takes a while to learn, but it’s waaaaaay better than Microsoft Word’s equation editor!

Our OpenLab page has a \latex plugin installed, so that’s why I can type beautiful things that look like this:

(1)   \begin{align*}u=& \int \frac{3-6t}{e^{-t}}dt \\=& \int \left(3e^t - 6te^t\right) dt \\=& 3e^t - 6(te^t-e^t)+C\\ =&9e^t -6te^t+C. \end{align*}


For this assignment all you’re going to do is practice typing some \LaTeX code in the comments on this post. What you type doesn’t have to make any mathematical sense, just try to get it to compile some math symbols. Go ahead and play around and make a giant mess in these comments. If something doesn’t work at first, don’t worry just try again. 

Instructions for typing in \LaTeX on the OpenLab can be found here.

Two things to remember:

  1. Type [latexpage] at the top of your post/comment.
  2. Enclose your mathematical expression in dollar signs. (The instructions linked above use \begin{math} and \end{math} instead of dollar signs, but you can use either to enclose your expression.)

OpenLab Assignment: Your favorite applications of differential equations

Due Sunday, August 30, 11:59pm

Your Week 0 checklist asks you to read the first few sections of your text. Section 1.1 outlines a few applications where differential equations are used. Comment on this post below and say which application(s) you are most interested in.

You may choose an application that is discussed in Section 1.1 or you may choose an application of your own. At this point, you do not even need to know whether differential equations actually apply to the particular topic you are interested in; you may comment something like, “I am interested to know if differential equations can be used to study [a topic you like].”

Your comment can be as detailed or as brief as you like.

OpenLab assignment: introduce yourself!

Due by 11:59pm on Sunday, August 30.

Your first assignment is to add yourself to our OpenLab course and to submit a post according to the instructions below. Your post is Your post will count toward your participation grade.

Add yourself to our OpenLab course

  1. If you haven’t already, sign up for an OpenLab account using your CityTech email address.
  2. After you’ve logged in, add yourself to our MAT 2680 course by clicking “join group.” (This is the course profile page; we won’t be using it again for the rest of the semester. Instead we’ll be using the course site.)

Submit a post introducing yourself

  1. From the class OpenLab site you can create a new post by clicking the symbol that looks like a + sign inside a circle at the top of the screen.
    • You must be a member of the course in order to see the + sign at the top of the screen. If you don’t see it, head back to the course profile to add yourself to the group.
  2. Title your post “Introducing [your first name] [your last name].” (You may use just initials if you like, as long as there’s enough information for me to locate you on my official roster.)
  3. From the categories on the right-hand side of the screen, make sure to select “Introduce yourself” so that the rest of us can locate your post later.
  4. Tell us anything you’d like us to know about you! Write one paragraph with at least five sentences. Some suggestions are…
    • Your pronouns (examples: she/her/hers or he/him/his or they/them/theirs)
    • Your major
    • How you became interested in your major
    • Which math classes you’ll take after MAT 2680 (if you don’t know, you can check your program requirements in the college catalog here)
    • What you hope to do after you graduate from CityTech; short-term goals, long-term goals, whatever…
    • Other interests/hobbies you have
    • Something you’re good at
    • Something you’re proud of
    • Your favorite book
    • Your favorite animal
    • Only if you feel comfortable sharing, you may also let us know how the pandemic has affected you. What aspects of it have been difficult? What aspects of it have been surprising? Have you learned anything new? Has anything good happened that might not have otherwise? Do not share anything personal if you don’t want to.
  5. Remember that this post will be available publicly on the internet. Don’t include any private information or anything you’re not comfortable with sharing publicly. (Don’t include your phone number or any answers to security questions!)
  6. Read and comment on at least one your classmates’ posts. (Note: the administrator may have to approve your comments, so don’t worry if your comments don’t appear right away.)
  7. If you have anything private that you’d like to share with me but not with the whole class (for example, if you are to receive a testing accommodation through Student Support Services), please include this information when you complete the first-day survey here.
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