I’m standing for the board of the TeX Users Group. You’re invited to make comments on my election statement below.
I work for the Open University (the UK’s leading provider of distance education) as a TeX expert for print media. I’m also halfway
through a two-year project on putting mathematics on web pages.
In 2006–7 I set up MathTran, which now provides typesetting of
TeX-notation formulas to images as a public web service, serving
about a million images a month.
MathTran shows the value of TeX as a web service, which I’d like to
extend to whole documents. Installing and configuring TeX can be
slow and difficult. Using TeX through a web browser will help
Part of my math-on-web project is a page where students can
interactively create a TeX-notation formula, say for putting on a web
page or in a word-processor document.
I have a doctorate in Mathematics and although not my career I still
have research interests. I have been using TeX for over 20 years,
and joined TUG in 1989. For the past two years I’ve been Chair of the
UK TeX Users Group, and have recently been re-elected for another
The past three years have seen UK TUG come out of a long period of
inactivity and decline. The credit for this of course belongs to the
Committee and the members, and not simply myself. We’ve organised
three successful meetings, adopted a new constitution, and set up a
website with links to UK TeX resources.
As a board member I would bring to TUG a focus on a key core
community, namely those who write material with lots of mathematics.
I have a particular interest in providing help and support,
particularly through web pages.
TUG, by virtue of TeX being a typesetting program, rightly has a
focus on print media. But to flourish we must also use new media
effectively. The Open University faces the same challenge, and my
experience there will help TUG.
TUG has a special responsibility, to publicise TeX and related
fonts, programs, documentation and other resources.
I’d like TUG to offer more to institutional members. In particular,
we should help them share user support experience and resources.
Supporting TeX can be daunting without outside help.
When I joined TUG there were over 150 institutional members. There are
now just 27. The loss I feel the most is the Library of Congress.
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