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SI wants to hire a remote LaTeX guru

11 Post author: lukeprog 18 February 2012 05:39AM

The Singularity Institute needs to hire 1-2 people who are fluent in LaTeX to help us transform past and future SI publications from looking like this to looking like this.

As with the remote researcher positions, pay is hourly and starts at $14/hr but that will rise if the product is good. You must be available to work at least 20 hrs/week to be considered.


  • Work from home, with flexible hours.
  • Age and credentials are irrelevant; only the product matters.

If you're interested, contact luke@intelligence.org and describe past LaTeX work you've done, with attached PDF examples.

Comments (16)

Comment author: ciphergoth 22 February 2012 05:14:37PM 5 points [-]

It would be good if this person was considering multiple output formats from the start. PDF is a rather paper-centric format to be considering in this age; would be good if SI publications were available as HTML as well, and I know I'm not the only person who these days wishes that papers were all in Kindle or ePub format.

Comment author: [deleted] 18 February 2012 11:24:46AM *  8 points [-]

Just a suggestion, but rather than hire a 'LaTeX guru', why not use LyX? If you don't know about it, LyX is a GUI word processor that's very, very easy to use, will output clean LaTeX, and is absolutely perfect for writing scientific papers in (it's the only word processor I know of that has a full section in its Help menu on how to do Feynman diagrams). I wrote my last three books (plus tons of short stories) in it, and I'd guess that for an investment of at most five to ten hours time upfront, anyone could produce beautifully typeset LaTeX in it without ever needing to drop down to the actual code, and I find writing in it MUCH easier than writing in MS Word or a Wordalike, because it doesn't actually fight the writer.

It's Free Software, and you can get it from http://lyx.org .

Comment author: djcb 18 February 2012 02:50:01PM 5 points [-]

I think the SI is looking for someone who can make some nice LaTeX-classes; when those are done, people can use whatever editor is the best for them (including LyX) for writing the papers.

BTW, it would be excellent if SI would make their templates available, the example looks very nice.

Comment author: lukstafi 18 February 2012 11:53:49AM *  4 points [-]

Please, consider TeXmacs: http://texmacs.org/ (TeXmacs is not based on LaTeX, but can export to LaTeX or HTML if it is necessary.) Make an informed choice between TeXmacs and LyX.

Comment author: [deleted] 18 February 2012 12:25:58PM -1 points [-]

TeXMacs is a good piece of software, too, but seems to me to have a much steeper learning curve for those who are used to other word processors.

Comment author: lukstafi 18 February 2012 06:54:51PM *  0 points [-]

Why? What about using "standard copy/paste key bindings" (which are now active by default) and clicking your way through the graphical icons and the drop-down menus?

But it's probably difficult to get fancy effects without learning TeXmacs more deeply. Unfortunately I can't compare with LyX (I happen to be a TeXmacs believer... but by no means a guru -- not being "motivated" enough to study the manual!)

An important thing is to take notice of the key binding for a command when you've finally found it in the menus. Also, if you remember a LaTeX construct, try using it -- sometimes it's available under the same name, e.g. \setminus.)

Comment author: dvasya 21 February 2012 04:39:25AM 0 points [-]

LyX a great tool, I can testify to that.

Comment author: Alexei 18 February 2012 04:24:29PM -1 points [-]

Here is a nice free online tool to convert handwriting into LaTeX.

Comment author: [deleted] 19 February 2012 04:00:04AM 2 points [-]

This tool is not only irrelevant to the actual problem at hand (which is formatting an entire paper) but also lacks the vocabulary to be useful for typesetting anything more complicated than 2+2=4.

Comment author: CasioTheSane 09 March 2012 06:43:45AM 0 points [-]

Actually, I tested it with some complex equations and it typeset them correctly. This is a useful tool, albeit not for the problem at hand.

Comment author: [deleted] 10 March 2012 01:15:05AM 3 points [-]

Short list of important things it doesn't do: binomial coefficients, matrices, floor and ceiling, modular arithmetic, any letters in fancy fonts beyond blackboard Z, R, and C, and these are just all the things that I use frequently. I imagine if there were something I didn't know how to typeset, the chances that this tool would give me anything useful are close to nil.

But lack of vocabulary isn't even the largest problem. The other issue is that, unlike Detexify, this tool doesn't provide any alternatives to its best guess. Which means that unless it's made perfect (and that's not going to happen) you're going to spend a long time fiddling with your equation trying to make it work. And then you might as well learn LaTeX anyway.

Comment author: CasioTheSane 12 March 2012 03:21:14AM 0 points [-]

you might as well learn LaTeX anyway.

Truer words were never spoken, regardless of context.

Comment author: syllogism 22 February 2012 01:02:28AM 0 points [-]

If you can't find anyone easily, I suggest you post the job on freelancer.com. It's worked pretty well for me for unskilled work, and should do okay for this semi-skilled task.

Comment author: dbaupp 22 February 2012 02:04:19AM *  2 points [-]

This task looks unsuitable for a site like that since these are technical papers with mathematics, one has to know enough LaTeX to be able to reproduce (arbitrary) mathematics by just reading it (N.B. tools like detexify help).

Also, a single mistake (like _ij instead of _{ij}) can change the meaning dramatically, and I would think that a random person on freelancer would care less about getting it right, and more about getting it looking like it's right (whereas someone recruited through LW is more likely to actually care about SI beyond being a source of money).

Comment author: syllogism 22 February 2012 05:29:47AM 1 point [-]

You're right, outsourcing this would be a bad idea.

Comment author: EvelynM 22 February 2012 12:22:22AM 0 points [-]

Springer-Verlag makes their LaTeX templates available: