• ## Discussion Feed

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1.

Every so often I see a question like http://mathoverflow.net/questions/101215/, which asks for a rational function to be simplified. What mystifies me about it is that the math is in LaTeX (not just dollar signs, but \dfrac), when I would have thought LaTeX was a much more exotic skill than algebra. Of course it's not a difficult skill, but it's still the sort of thing one would either have to know in advance or look up at the time of asking the question. Am I missing something, for example an easy way to get LaTeX into MO questions? I guess in principle it could be a sign of trolling, but it doesn't look like that to me.

2.
Well, this is wild speculation, but I know if you copy and paste from wikipedia you sometimes get tex code. In particular, if I'm pasting into Texmaker or WinEdt then I get tex code. If I'm pasting into Microsoft Word I get an embedded image. The problem you linked looks like homework, so maybe he had it digitally assigned from his teacher in the same format as wikipedia (who knows, maybe they have a course wiki) and was able to copy and paste. It could also be the case that he got it off some other forum which allows copy-and-paste of math in the way that wikipedia does.
• CommentAuthorAngelo
• CommentTimeJul 3rd 2012

There are many simple applications that can produce LaTeX code.
3.

I can testify that in our university physics students, for example, are required to submit their homework in LaTeX from the first year, so physics students know [bad] LaTeX.

(On the other hand, mathematics students are not required to know anything about using LaTeX until well into their M.Sc.)

4.

To illustrate Angelo's comment: Equation editor is one that has been passed around quite often over at MSE.