[mandelbrot set] MATH DEPT Computer News, Volume 34

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Vanilla beamer for baby boomers by example

Never do I feel my age so much as when a young colleague gives a high tech math lecture using beamer. (If you want to look my age, go up after such a talk and ask the speaker, "Say, how did you ever create such a snazzy math talk in PowerPoint?")

Instead of dying my hair with Grecian Formula (which can actually turn grey hair a greenish color), I decided to learn beamer.

I'll give some beamer examples here that might be all you need to know to look and feel 20 years younger.

First, check out the following PDF file of the finished product. Follow the link, then click on the screen and use the arrow keys to page through the presentation. (Or save the PDF to your machine and view it in Adobe Acrobat or acroread there. That way you won't have the browser menus at the top.)


Note that several pages in the PDF file correspond to one slide with overlays. As you page through the PDF, the overlays appear to pile on.

Here is the TeX source file that created that presentation. Click on the link to view the source. Save the text file as a file named lecture.tex (and not as lecture.txt).


You should be able to look at this vanilla source file and easily figure out how to modify it in order to make your own presentation.

To convert the lecture.tex source file to the PDF document, just type

pdflatex lecture

at a UNIX prompt on the Math system. This command will create the file lecture.pdf which you can view in Adobe Acrobat or acroread.

If you use Grecian Formula on your hair, you might also like to try the Berkeley theme. Just add these lines near the top of the TeX source file.


The next example uses a little bit more LaTeX and shows how to do some more sophisticated things, including how to apply the Berkeley theme.

I learned most of what I know from these two sites:

You can find out at that first site how to put figures in a beamer presentation. Here's an example:


...I remember when we used to carry in a wet towel to clean off the board and dip our chalk in vinegar to give our talks that bold and definitive look...

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