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Alice Keeler

Math Teachers: LaTex code is for you!

Math Teachers: LaTex code is for you!

One of the challenges of being a math teacher is getting all the fractions and square roots into your documents. The challenge is especially large on the web.  Most websites do not have a way for teachers to enter math symbols and we have to make due with calculator expressions.

Year ago a colleague, Gayle Taylor, introduced me to www.quia.com which is good for any subject, but allows for me to insert fractions and other math symbols through the use of LaTex code.

If you are already familiar with some light HTML tags then the jump to LaTex won’t be so bad.  While HTML and LaTex are far from being required on Quia it is nice to have the options.

Quia has incredibly easy to use templates for a variety of games, quizzes and surveys.  Anywhere I want to insert math symbols I type


This allows me to signal that I want to insert math. I then need to learn a few basic tags to render the math symbols.

<latex>$\frac{3}{5}$</latex> =
<latex>$\sqrt{9}$</latex> =

Notice the slash in the LaTex tag is backwards to the slash used for fractions and other LaTex code. Also notice you use a lot of curly braces { } in your code.

If you want your math symbols to render a little larger I use <latex>$\huge$</latex> So to create the quadratic formula I type: <latex>$\huge x = \frac{-b\pm \sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}$</latex>

Another hint is that if you are doing exponents you use the carot symbol (^) just like you do in excel, however if you want double digits in your exponents you have to use the curly braces.  <latex>$x^{10}$</latex> Otherwise the zero in my x to the tenth will not be displayed in the exponent, but rather full size next to it.

One last thing, recently I found this website: http://www.codecogs.com/latex/eqneditor.php that will generate my code for me.  I still have to write the <latex>$$</latex> part, but I can copy and paste the rest of it.  For large equations I am trying to write, this is a life saver!

2 thoughts on “Math Teachers: LaTex code is for you!

  1. Many math teachers who would like to use Quia may not want to learn LaTeX. If someone in that category already owns MathType, it’s a simple matter to create the equation in MathType, choose “Quia Web” from MathType’s Cut and Copy Preferences dialog, then copy the equation from MathType and paste into Quia. MathType adds the $$ tags for you.

  2. Well I see WordPress stripped out part of my post. The last sentence of my previous comment should read “MathType adds the <latex>$$</latex> for you.”

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