Owl Beamer color theme

The effectiveness of a colour scheme is heavily dependent on context. Colours that look nice on a computer screen can be impossible to see on conference projectors; a theme that stands out in a lit room may strain the eyes in a dark room. This LaTeX package adds a new option to Beamer’s growing variety of colour themes, to increase the probability that you can find one that fits your presentation’s individual needs.

Owl is a Beamer color theme optimized for the real-world conditions I found myself most commonly presenting in. It was designed with three guiding principles in mind:

Simple colours = no distractions
Owl uses black, white, and slight gray tones for the structural elements of each Beamer frame, putting the focus of each slide on your content.
Dark and bright rooms, dark and light themes
A white background is best for visibility in brightly-lit rooms, whereas a black one can be easier on the eyes in rooms with low ambient lighting. Owl provides both dark and light themes, easily configurable with the package options.
A palette optimized for common projectors
Business and university projectors are often calibrated with an extremely bright green channel and very dim red and blue channels. Owl redefines the basic colour names red, green, blue, yellow, violet, brown, orange, and cyanto attractive hues that are still visible on these projectors.
Version 0.1.1 is now available on CTAN! This version will come bundled with TeX Live 2016 and the LaTeX distribution included in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial).

Metropolis Beamer theme

Beamer is an awesome way to make presentations with LaTeX, but its theme selection is surprisingly sparse. The stock themes share an aesthetic that can be a little cluttered, while the few distinctive custom themes available are often specialized for a particular corporate or institutional brand. Metropolis provides a simple, modern Beamer theme suitable for anyone to use.

I was a major contributer to Metropolis from 2015 through 2016. If you want to help make the theme better, you can join the development efforts on Matthias Vogelgesang’s GitHub page for the project.

SFU thesis LaTeX template

In collaboration with the SFU Library and my fellow grad students, I’ve written a LaTeX template from which graduate students at Simon Fraser University can start writing their thesis or dissertation. The project offers a LaTeX class file called sfuthesis that automatically sets your thesis according to the SFU Library’s style requirements. With its help, you can focus on writing up your research instead of fiddling with formatting.

Get started now by downloading a copy from the SFU Library website!

The Erdős-Bacon-Sabbath Project

The Erdős-Bacon-Sabbath number combines three measures of professional collaboration to make a fun (if rather complicated) parlour game for the internet age. If you can find someone who has published academically, been involved in a movie or TV show, and publicly performed a song, they may have an EBS number. The question is, how many degrees of seperation does it take to connect them to mathematican Paul Erdős, actor Kevin Bacon, and rock band Black Sabbath?