L^{A}TEX (or, more specifically, L^{A}TEX) is a powerful
text formatting language. Much like code, a L^{A}TEX document contains
text commands that are compiled into the finished product (typically a
postscript file). The language is best illustrated by example:

% this is a comment \documentclass[12pt]{article} \begin{document} \section{Introduction} Latex (or \LaTeX) is a powerful text formatting language. You can write in \textit{italics} or \textbf{bold face}. You can \underline{underline} and $\overline{\mbox{overline}}$. Best of all, you can do equations: \begin{equation} E = mc^2 \end{equation} or arrays of equations: \begin{eqnarray} \dot{x} & = & z \\ \dot{z} & = & x + z \end{eqnarray} Even integrals! \begin{equation} M = \int_x \int_y \int_z \rho(x,y,z)\, dz\,dy\,dx \end{equation} \subsection{Here's a subsection} Here's a table: \begin{table}[h] \begin{tabular}{l|c|r} Left & Center & Right \\ \hline 1 & 2 & 3 \\ 4 & 5 & 6 \end{tabular} \end{table} Here's how you start a new paragraph (just leave a blank line). Notice how the line is indented. \subsubsection*{Here's a subsubsection without a number} Here's how you might include a figure: \begin{figure} \resizebox{\textwidth}{!}{\includegraphics{myfigure.eps}} \caption{Caption goes here.} \end{figure} (you'll need a \usepackage{graphics} command in the preamble). \subsubsection*{And here's a numbered list:} \begin{enumerate} \item Item 1. \item Item 2. \item etc. \end{enumerate} \end{document}

As you can see, L^{A}TEX contains powerful equation typesetting tools
and supports both embedded tables and figures. Naturally, the
document you are currently reading was written in L^{A}TEX (and
converted to HTML for the course website using the `latex2html`
utility).

To compile a L^{A}TEX document, just type `latex mydocument.tex`,
where `mydocument.tex` is the name of your document. This
creates a `dvi` file which can be viewed in a window with
`xdvi` or converted to postscript with `dvips` (use
`ghostview` or `gv` to view a postscript document in a
window). If you want PDF output, use the `convert` utility:
`convert mydocument.ps mydocument.pdf` (use `acroread` to
view a PDF document in a window).

A nice L^{A}TEX tutorial is available here:

There are also extensive lists of special symbols that you might find useful:http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/info/lshort/english/lshort.pdf?action=/starter/

(these documents are all part of the Comprehensive TEX Archive Network athttp://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/info/symbols/comprehensive/symbols-a4.pdf