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Writing, Checking, and Depositing Ph.D Thesis in ECE, UIUC
Preliminary Tasks   |   Write Thesis   |   Format Check   |   Deposit Thesis   |  
Items Important information and helpful hints
Templates First, download a copy of my thesis template, thesis style file, and thesis bibliography style file. Note that I like to split my thesis into multiple tex files and use the "\input" command, you certainly don't have to. Put these files in the same directory.
Table of Contents Table of contents (TOC), List of Figures (LOF), and References are the three places you are most likely to get into trouble with the format checking guy. Remember to always use the following rule when you write you chapter/section headings:
  • Capitalize every letter (JOINT SOURCE-CHANNEL MATCHING) for \chapter headings.
  • Capitalize first letter of every word (Joint Source-Channel Matching) for \section headings.
  • Capitalize first letter of the first word (Joint source-channel matching) for \subsection headings.
If you have appendices and references, their position in TOC need to be adjusted to satisfy format-checking. Download and modify fixtoc.pl for your use. It is a simple Perl script which does the job for you. Since TOC file is modified every time you run latex, you have to manually overwrite the old TOC or use the latex.sh script to do it for you. Run "latex.sh thesis" (assuming your main file is named thesis.tex of course) to get the postscript output.
Figures Make sure you use the same convention for all the captions of the figures.
  • Capitalize only the first letter of the first word.
  • Always append a dot at the end of the caption (\caption{ Joint Source-Channel Matching Diagram.})
  • Make sure the figure appears either on the same page or the right next page where it is first refered to. When it can't be done in LaTeX, move your reference so long as it doesn't hurt the presentation of the thesis.
  • Make sure that you don't have a page with only one figure and too much blank space. If this happens, resize the figure.
  • Make sure you use 15 point fonts when plotting results in Matlab.
References References are a pain in the neck since you never know which format is correct. There are a few rules that you can follow:
  • Do NOT use the month field for @INPROCEEDINGS entry, since they mess up things. The month field is not required. Also, remove the year field and add it at the end of the name of the conference field, so instead of having a year field, now you have the booktitle field looking like "Proceedings of ICIP 1995". This is sufficient.
  • If a @BOOK entry is present, remove the address field and insert it into the publisher field, so you have a publisher field looking like "Reading, MA: Addision-Wesley".
  • For names like "Ya-Qin Zhang", you have to use "Y.-Q.~Zhang" in your author field.
  • The best place to find all information for your references is IEEE Xplore website.
Format-checking requires a dot instead of a comma after the book title, you can either modify the bibliography style file (which I don't know how) or use the fixbbl.pl script to fix it for you. You MUST modify it before you can use it. After you run bibtex, copy thesis.bbl to temp.bbl, then run "fixbbl temp.bbl thesis.bbl" to fix it, then run latex.sh again.
Abbreviations The point here is that the potential reader of our thesis might not actually know what FFT means, so we need to explain every single abbreviation. You have to italicize the expanded full term.
  • For field-specific terms, such as DCT, use "discrete cosince transform (DCT)".
  • For well-known terms, such as MPEG, use "Motion Picture Expert Group (MPEG)". All network protocols have to be capitalized in first letter of every word.
Remember, no matter how obvious the abbreviation seems to you, you have to explain it when it's first used. If a term is used infrequently, you should expand and explain it in each chapter, you don't have to do it if it's constantly being used.
Now, you have finished writing the thesis, let's get to format checking.