Problem Sheets

The oxmathproblems.cls problem sheet LaTeX class was written by Keith A. Gillow. The latest version (1.7) was released on 6/8/2021. The class is based upon the standard exam class (which is also the basis for exam papers the department produces). Key features are

  • standardised header and footer information for department problem sheets, with all relevant information, including clarity that the sheet has originated in the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford
  • footer can optionally display a line of contact details (e.g. email address of lecturer)
  • additional \sectionheader command to support laying out a problem sheet in sections; the section header command by default leaves the display of answers for the section turned off; the command can take a withanswers options to turn on display of answers for that section, e.g. \sectionheader[withanswers]{Section A}
  • 3 documentclass options to enable 3-4 differently formatted outputs
    • tutorversion - force ALL answers/solutions to be shown (even if a section header command has withoutanswers option); generally for tutor use and displays a warning so tutors do not give this version to students
    • allanswers - similar to above but without the tutor only warnings; generally not recommended as usual practice is not to hand out all answers to students this way
    • noanswers - force NO answers/solutions to be shown even if sectionheader command uses the withanswers option
    • without any of these options (i.e. the default use) - in a sectioned problem sheet solutions are chosen to be on/off for each section command where the expected approach is to have worked answers for the optional warm-up intro section, and the optional last extension section, but not for the bulk of the questions in the middle section which are to be  covered in classes
  • 12pt text, 1.5 line spacing, black text on white paper - gives good readable and accessible document for most people
  • the above also works well if for accessibility an individual prints onto A3 paper (thus doubling the size), or zooms/enlarges on a screen, or uses software or a film sheet to change the white background to say cream/blue depending on their contrast needs
  • custom variant command \miquestion which enhances the normal \question command in an effort to encourage page breaks between questions rather than in the middle of questions
  • comment at the end of the class file of two different one-line-commands one can run (on a Linux or Mac system anyway) to extract a version of the tex with the solutions stripped out. For reference those two different command line approaches are
    sed '/\\begin{solution}/,/\\end{solution}/d' file.tex > file-nosoln.tex
    perl -ne 'print unless /^\\begin\{solution\}/ .. /^\\end\{solution\}/' file.tex > file-nosoln.tex
    

Note about figures: the oxmathsproblems uses the standard exam class. It is not possible to use a floating environment, such as figure, within the solution environment. To include a figure in a solution you might thus typically use latex of the form

\begin{center}
\includegraphics[width=10cm]{mypicture.jpg}

The path solution domain for qn 8.
\end{center}

to include the image at this point, centre it and put some text below it as a title if desired.
 

This LaTeX class is available on department managed machines by default (and laptop installs from mid-2020).

If you are not using such a machine then if you place the class file in the same directory as your LaTeX document then it should be found when you compile the document. That though is not very efficient if you have problem sheets in lots of different directories. In that case you may want to define a user-managed TEXMF root directory and drop such personal class files in there (under a tex/latex folder since it needs to follow a fixed structure). Some details for MikTeX (as typically used on Windows systems) are at https://miktex.org/howto/miktex-console . TeXLive (as typically used on Linux/Mac systems) already defines TEXMFHOME for personal files, typically ~/texmf (i.e. a folder called texmf within your home directory). The latex system expects a strict structure for the folders and files below it. For a latex class file one would put it in ~/texmf/tex/latex/ . For additional convenience on the maths Linux systems one can also places files in any structure one likes under ~/TeX and latex will find them.