Writing with Markdown

Writing with Markdown

An important part of any scientific research is to communicate and document it. Previously we used LaTeX in this class to provide the ability to contribute professional looking documents. As part of this we also noticed that any document from any student that ever submitted a document in MSWord was inferior to those using structured documents such as provided by LaTeX or markdown. Although we would have loved to continue our work in LaTeX, a small number of students made the full adaptation of LaTeX as document system not possible. Thus we have adopted an even simpler approach. All documents written for this class are written in structured markdown. As we use a uniform format all documents in the class will be made available online, including your project reports. This allows anyone giving feedback to the class artifacts and not only by the instructors. It also allows open sharing of ideas as any project in class must be unique and must not have been previously done. If it has been, a significant enhancement must be made.

While using markdown and github, you will also be able to collaboratively write documents in a group, while the instructors can inspect who has contributed to the document what while utilizing the history of the document. In addition we will be able to use bibtex as reference manager and leverage hundrets of thousands professionally curated bibliography citations while not needing to worry about IEEE, ACM, or APA style formating requirements. The bibliography format is automatically created for you. In particular markdown is very useful for creating deployment and code documentations through easy to use verbatim or code environments. At the same time it allows us to use mathematical equations as defined in LaTeX and avoid images for equation inclusion.

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Gregor von Laszewski
Intelligent Systems Engineering Department