WriteLaTeX Author Interview: Sam Cooper, Imperial College London

Sam Cooper photo

Sam obtained his MEng (hons) from Imperial in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently a research student in the area of energy materials under the supervision of Professor John Kilner of the Materials Department and Professor Nigel Brandon of the Energy Futures Lab.

The focus of his work is on the microstructural analysis of SOFC cathodes using X-ray nano-tomography and simulation techniques.

In this short interview, Sam Cooper writes about his experiences using writeLaTeX over the past 18 months...

WL: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

SC: I'm a researcher at Imperial College London looking into diffusive processes in materials for energy applications. It might sound a bit of a dry topic, but it actually involves lots of awesome 3D imaging/printing and interesting simulations.

WL: What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

SC: Data management is a major problem for 3D folk. I've got >10 TB of image data sitting on my desk, which makes me nervous. Also, this type of work is typically highly collaborative, so writing papers with 8+ authors is common.

WL: How did you first find out about writeLaTeX?

SC: I met John [Hammersley] at an Open Access event in July 2013. He told me about writeLaTeX and I thought it sounded excellent.

WL: How would you describe your experience of using writeLaTeX?

SC: With its wide range of templates and no fuss compiling, it has encouraged me to use LaTeX more, which is great as it always saves you time in the long run. The most significant change has been the ability to write collaboratively, which is a huge help. I also built a “fancyCV” the other day on your site and it worked out quite nicely! Overall it has been a huge asset, due to the ease of collaboration with other authors and the straightforward version control system. There are a inevitably a few things to consider when working in the cloud (like having internet access!), but 99% of the time it's spot on.

WL: What's next for you and your work?

SC: I am nearly finished with my first collaborative paper using writeLaTeX. This year I will also be writing my PhD thesis and am leaning towards going fully online, which would allow me to work from anywhere in the world.

WL: In summary, how would you describe writeLaTeX in a single sentence?

SC: A great tool for new and experienced LaTeX users alike, with hassle free version control and seamless collaboration!