Today's activities further familiarize you with Overleaf and LaTeX as you begin to put together your proposal. Sit with your research group and work on the activities together. You may refer to the tutorials on LaTeX and Overleaf here to complete today's activities. You will submit the PDF document (one document per group) that you download from Overleaf at the end of this activity.

Discuss your reactions to your research group meetings (10 mins)

Together with your group discuss your reaction to your research group meetings so far. What are they like? How do you feel in the group? What is the best part/worst part?

Go to your proposal project in Overleaf. Create a new file called "reflections.tex". Record a summary of your discussions in that file.

Working with LaTeX in Overleaf

Add your Mural as an image to the Related Work section of your proposal (15 mins)

Download the mural that you created for the assignment due today as a PDF file.

Create a new folder called images in your Overleaf project and upload the PDF of your mural into that folder.

Now work to add the image to your relatedwork.tex file. Add a caption and a label and adjust the size of the image.  You may refer to this tutorial on how to add images, captions, and labels in LaTeX.

Add a BibTeX file and the citations you have found so far (20 mins)

We will be using BibTeX for references in your proposal.  Complete the following steps following this BibTeX Information Guide for information as to how to do each.

  1. Add a .bib file to your project.

  2. In the .bib file add an entry for the research paper you read in week 2.

  3. Add commands to your main.tex to use this .bib file as the bibliography as the bibliography for your proposal.  Hint: You'll need to include two lines that look something like:

\bibliographystyle{plain} % We choose the "plain" reference style

\bibliography{refs} % Entries are in the "refs.bib" file

4. Go to the relatedwork.tex file in your proposal. Use the \cite command to add a reference to the paper that you just added to your .bib file. Write 1-2 sentences describing a summary of the paper.

5. Repeat steps 2 and 4 for each of the papers that appear in your mural.

Make sure you compile your document and that everything shows up correctly in the preview.

Add an initial problem statement/approach (15 mins)

Together with your group,  add two paragraphs to the first section of your proposal.  Don't worry about having a refined version as you will work again on writing this section in a couple of weeks.

  1. One paragraph should state the research problem that your group will be tackling this year.     
  2. A second paragraph should state how you might be approaching this problem.  If your advisor has given you any specific direction in solving this problem, describe what they have told you.  If not, list any ideas you have (they don't have to be correct!) for starting to solve this problem. 

Continue working on your related work section.

For the remaining time, look ahead to parts 2 and 3 of your literature search assignment and plan your next steps.

Go back to your related work section. write a para or two about how the papers that you have found relate to each other i.e. How do the papers build on each other and/or how do they present an alternative solution to the same problem?


Download your proposal from Overleaf as a PDF document and submit it on Gradescope.  It will be messy and it doesn't need to be coherent overall, but it should contain:

  • References to the papers in your mural (inline and in the references section)
  • The paragraph with your problem statement
  • A few paragraphs in your related work section including an image of your mural.