# Rmarkdown template for a Monash working paper

This is only directly relevant to my Monash students and colleagues, but the same idea might be useful for adapting to other institutions.

Some recent changes in the rmarkdown and bookdown packages mean that it is now possible to produce working papers in exactly the same format as we previously used with LaTeX. Continue reading →

# Software for honours students

I spoke to our new crop of honours students this morning. Here are my slides, example files and links. Continue reading →

# Reproducibility in computational research

Jane Frazier spoke at our research team meeting today on “Reproducibility in computational research”. We had a very stimulating and lively discussion about the issues involved. One interesting idea was that reproducibility is on a scale, and we can all aim to move further along the scale towards making our own research more reproducible. For example

• Can you reproduce your results tomorrow on the same computer with the same software installed?
• Could someone else on a different computer reproduce your results with the same software installed?
• Could you reproduce your results in 3 years time after some of your software environment may have changed?
• etc.

Think about what changes you need to make to move one step further along the reproducibility continuum, and do it.

Jane’s slides and handout are below. Continue reading →

# Mathematical annotations on R plots

I’ve always struggled with using plotmath via the expression function in R for adding mathematical notation to axes or legends. For some reason, the most obvious way to write something never seems to work for me and I end up using trial and error in a loop with far too many iterations.

So I am very happy to see the new latex2exp package available which translates LaTeX expressions into a form suitable for R graphs. This is going to save me time and frustration! Continue reading →

# Dark themes for writing

I spend much of my day sitting in front of a screen, coding or writing. To limit the strain on my eyes, I use a dark theme as much as possible. That is, I write with light colored text on a dark background. I don’t know why this is not the default in more software as it makes a big difference after a few hours of writing.

Most of the time, I am writing using either Sublime Text, RStudio or TeXstudio. Each of them can be set to use a dark theme with syntax coloring to highlight structural features in the text.

# biblatex for statisticians

I am now using biblatex for all my bibliographic work as it seems to have developed enough to be stable and reliable. The big advantage of biblatex is that it is easy to format the bibliography to conform to specific journal or publisher styles. It is also possible to have structured bibliographies (e.g., divided into sections: books, papers, R packages, etc.) Continue reading →

# Creating a handout from beamer slides

I’m about to head off on a speaking tour to Europe (more on that in another post) and one of my hosts has asked for my powerpoint slides so they can print them. They have made two false assumptions: (1) that I use powerpoint; (2) that my slides are static so they can be printed.

Instead, I produced a cut-down version of my beamer slides, leaving out some of the animations and other features that will not print easily. Then I produced a pdf file with several slides per page. Continue reading →

# Generating tables in LaTeX

Typing tables in LaTeX can get messy, but there are some good tools to simplify the process. One I discovered this week is tablesgenerator.com, a web-based tool for generating LaTeX tables. It also allows the table to saved in other formats including HTML and Markdown. The interface is simple, but it does most things. For complicated tables, some additional formatting may be necessary. Continue reading →

# Getting a LaTeX system set up

Today I was teaching the honours students in econometrics and economics about LaTeX. Here are some brief instructions on how to set up a LaTeX system on different operating systems. Continue reading →

# Online collaborative writing

Everyone who has written a paper with another author will know it can be tricky making sure you don’t end up with two versions that need to be merged. The good news is that the days of sending updated drafts by email backwards and forwards is finally over (having lasted all of 25 years — I can barely imagine writing papers before email). Continue reading →