Math Bio Documentation

About bio pages

Bio pages offer expanded directory information and act as a template system for users to convey information about their research, publications, teaching and other pertinent information. By default your bio page will have your educational background, office location, office phone number, and e-mail address. Additionally, the Web staff will provide an initial listing of your publications provided by MathSciNet

A Research Description

A research description can be specified in your bio configuration file and will be displayed on the front page of your bio.

To edit your configuration file, use your favorite UNIX text editor or the following command:

vi ~/WWWbio/_bio.config

Simply place your desired text between a line containing the key word "STARTPARAGRAPH" and a line containing "ENDPARAGRAPH" in your _bio.config file.

Modifying Publications

The Mathematics Web staff creates an initial publications list for faculty within their bio page. To add or remove publications from this published list, you need to edit a file in your server space. You can use the below commands or edit your ~/WWWbio/Publications/index file with your favorite text editor.

cd ~/WWWbio/Publications
vi index

To download your entire list of publications from MathSciNet, see this page:

If you have an html file you've created of your publications list you may replace the Publications file with your file.  You will not need the extention .htm or .html for the file to be read in WWWbio.

Changing bio page details with the _bio.config file

There are certain aspects of the bio page that will appear by default, including the departmental navigation menu, contact information and professional details. The _bio.config file allows the user to toggle features on and off and alter displayed information.

To edit your configuration file, use your favorite UNIX text editor or the following command:

vi ~/WWWbio/_bio.config

How do I change my bio information?

Directory information on your bio page, including research areas and PhD institution for faculty, comes from the Department Head's Administrative Assistant's database or our automated processes to recognize homepages.  If there is an error in your directory information please contact Kristi Stroud.  Your picture and other bio page features can be edited in the _bio.config file.

Altering feature fields

There are certain features of your bio page that can be toggled in the _bio.config file.

Feature fields that are turned off are preceded by the # sign or are absent from the file.

Some feature fields require input after the field name. For instance if your photo was located at and you wanted it displayed on your bio page your _bio.config file would contain the following:


See Bio Config Settings below for more information about changing your bio page via the _bio.config file.

Bio Config Settings

STARTPARAGRAPH text between this keyword and ENDPARAGRAPH is printed on the front bio page
Header if present, displays text instead of default header images
Portrait if this keyword is followed by the full url to an image, that image will be displayed on the front bio page (at 150 x 200 px)
ShowNavMenuAlways if present, the math website menu system will be included on all bio pages
ShowNavMenu if present, the math website menu system will be included on the front bio page only
RssName allows specification of a name for a RssFeed
RssFeed allows specification of the url for a rss feed for inclusion into the front bio page

Adding Content

To add new content to your Bio page, simply create new files in your WWWbio directory, by using the below commands or your favorite unix text editor.

cd ~/WWWbio
vi FileName
  • Remember to make your filename user-friendly. Use capitalization and spaces. No .html required.
  • You can see what your bio page looks like by visiting

Adding a Photo

Adding a picture to your page can make your page look more professional.

  • Request a copy of your departmental photo by emailing Krist Stroud
  • Upload the image file to your ~/WWW directory.
  • Specify the image in your bio configuration file (~/WWWbio/_bio.config) file by placing the url to your image after the key word "PORTRAIT".
  • You may wish to resize your image, as its likely very large and subsequently will take a long time to download.
  • Please keep in mind that your bio page will display the image as 150px wide by 200px tall. If these proportions are disturbed, you will look funny.
  • If interested, please email for help with resizing.

Changing Menu Order

The order in which links are displayed on the menu bar can be changed by creating a file called _page.order in your ~/WWWbio directory.

Within this file, simply list the filenames, one per line, in the desired order. For example, a _page.order consisting of the below:

  • Interests
  • Vita
  • Research
  • Would cause the menu to display in that order.

Quick Links

"Quick Links" are an easy, attractive way to add more information to your front page.

You can make a box of links on the right side of the page by creating a file called _quicklinks.list in your WWWbio directory.
In this file, list your links using html tags, for example:

This will create a quick link box with links to the Math Department and Google.

Using Folders

Folders created in the WWWbio/ directory will be displayed as a menu item. Every folder needs to include a file named "index". (If no index file exists in this subfolder, its contents will attempted to be displayed as links.)

Other files within the subfolder can be named normally and can be relatively linked to via subfolder/filename.