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Systems Optimization Laboratory

Stanford University
Dept of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E)

Huang Engineering Center

Stanford, CA 94305-4121  USA

SOL PhD Dissertations

Thesis thoughts:

LaTeX resources:
The following systems allow asynchronous writing of LaTeX documents from multiple machines. Often this is for coauthors to collaborate (without sending zip files back and forth). For your thesis, they allow you to write at your university desk or your laptop at home.

Pretty soon you'll find that they are ideal for writing the papers associated with your thesis research.

Stanford thesis format:

  • Jul 2016: Start your thesis with these lines:

    \usepackage[total={5.5in,8.5in}, top=1.25in, left=1.5in]{geometry}

    Line 1 recognizes that 10pt is big enough and saves paper.
    Line 2 uses years of evolving macros.
    Line 3 gives 1.5in margins left and right (good for binding and PDF viewing).
    Line 4 gives single spacing.

    Further details here: suthesis-2e.sty home page and here:
    but note that the above green lines override some of the specifications there.
  • Mar 2015: Success at last! Santiago Akle's thesis was submitted in 10pt with single spacing (\setstretch{1.0}). Thesis formatting at Stanford is now checked only by the Primary Adviser (who takes tacit responsibility when pressing the "Accept" button following online submission). We can now bypass some of the archaic specifications of ProQuest Dissertation Publishing (Ann Arbor), who have been catering to the needs of microfiche storage(!).

  • Aug 2014 (revised Aug 2016): Stanford Thesis style file from Emma Pease, CSLI: suthesis-2e.sty home page.
    The example begins with \documentclass[12pt]{report}, and suthesis-2e.sty specifies \setstretch{1.3}.
    We strongly recommend [10pt] and \setstretch{1.0} on the grounds that nobody needs to maximize the length of their thesis.
    We hope that the Registrar will officially allow \setstretch{1.0} (single spacing) before too much longer, like most books and journals and technical papers that we read every day.

  • Aug 2014: Unofficial help from Stanford students: Thesis and Dissertation Help Center.

  • Nov 2007: Example LaTeX driver from Felix Kwok: felix-thesis-example.tex.
    To save trees, it uses 10pt, twoside, and \setstretch{1.213}, as permitted by the Registrar.
    Update (June 2011): Emma Pease now has \setstretch{1.3} in suthesis-2e.sty, but \setstretch{1.213} still seems enough.

  • Dec 2004: Earlier example LaTeX driver from Michael Friedlander: mpfthesis-example.tex.
    Here's what it looks like (19 short pages): mpfthesis-example.pdf.
    This is where \setstretch{1.213} began.
    pdflatex seems the best way to go nowadays. Figures can include pdf, png, or jpg files.
    Some earlier help for making readable ps and pdf files is here: readme.txt.

Portable PDF files:

  • The following Unix or Linux command makes a PDF file truly portable by embedding all necessary fonts within the file:
          ps2pdf -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress thesis.pdf thesis_font_embed.pdf
    A side-benefit is that the file size shrinks! (Thanks to David Fong for finding this command.)

Completed dissertations: