Conference Presentations

I will be presenting at the Western Kentucky University Mathematics Symposium this Friday and Saturday and have been working on my presentation. I have seen many speakers using Beamer, but I had not yet explored it.

If you are unfamiliar with what Beamer is, the user guide says,

Beamer is a LaTeX class for creating presentations that are held using a projector, but it can also be used to create transparency slides. Preparing presentations with beamer is different from preparing them with wysiwyg programs like OpenOffice’s Impress, Apple’s Keynotes, or KOffice’s KPresenter. A beamer presentation is created like any other LATEX document: It has a preamble and a body, the body contains sections and subsections, the different slides (called frames in beamer) are put in environments, they are structured using itemize and enumerate environments, and so on. The obvious disadvantage of this approach is that you have to know LaTeX in order to use beamer. The advantage is that if you know LATEX, you can use your knowledge of LATEX also when creating a presentation, not only when writing papers.

For this conference, I have elected to teach myself Beamer. Some resources I have found to be extremely helpful are:

Most of the presentations I have seen use the default theme, but there are several available for you to use. Take a look at to see the different themes available.

When making my presentation, I found the need to draw a Cantor set. I am not well versed in drawing using LaTeX, so I used the LaTeX Stack Exchange. They recommended I use Tikz. I had never heard of Tikz before and I am still in the beginning stages of learning it. A complete manual is available at

Does anyone have any helpful tips in general for using Beamer or Tikz?

If you have used them, what do you think the advantages/disadvantages are to them?

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