April 11th, 2006

The wonders of typesetting.

I just discovered something amazing. I've always thought of a Ph. D. thesis as a massive piece of writing — many hundreds of pages and months spent toiling at the word processor. But i took a paper i recently wrote (16 pages long) and told LaTeX to format it as a book instead of a paper, and suddenly i have a 37-page “book.” Then i tried it with another paper — 12 pages (in a slightly smaller font) became 34 pages. The standard conference format with two columns of 10-point text fits a lot of text on each page!

Books are a lot shorter than i thought. If the recommended length for a doctoral dissertation in computer science is 100 to 150 pages, that's just three or four of the papers i've already written. What a concept.