Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Revealing Things About Myself

Instead of working on things that need to get done in the short term, I have spent at least six hours revising my CV. This is a classic case of bad time management. No one looks at my CV. Never ever. Except for random internet people. However, tomorrow I am giving a midterm exam to 16 people who care very much about it being a good exam. Haven't even started on it.

And it's not like I've been spending the time tracking down things that I've done to add them to the document. No. Most of the time has been spent tweaking the formatting.

It's still not beautiful. But it's at least as good as most of the examples that you see on the web. I haven't posted the new version (still needs more tweaking), so don't bother checking my web page, yet. Random internet people, this means you. Unless you have good ideas about how to format a CV.

The problem with making a CV is that there is such a wide variety of types of information that you need to put on it. Some things really want to be put on a list. Some things need more explanation. Publications want to be in a bibilography-type format. No real coherent design principle jumps out at you. Then there's the font size problem. Everything looks more professional in a small font size (which is probably why LaTeX defaults to 10pt). But CVs look better if they're longer. And nothing looks good as blocks of 12-point text on letter paper. Nothing.

I checked to see if Edward Tufte had any good ideas on how to format a CV. Nope. If Edward Tufte won't tell you how to format something and make it look beautiful while effortlessly communicating information, then it probably can't be done.

I've put some stuff on it that I normally wouldn't, but I needed more content of that length in order to get the page breaks to seem natural. And I'm not sure if I should put the course that I'm taking this spring anywhere on my CV. Right now it's slated to be a minor bullet point on a deep interior page.

The other thing that I learned about myself when putting it together? I have no fucking clue how to format a bibliography. I tried to clean up the publications section and to make it conform to some approximation of a reasonable bibliography style, and I was totally hopeless. I would suspect that the typical college freshman has more of a clue than I do about this. And I couldn't find anywhere on the web about how to format a math bibliography without using BibTeX. I'm sure that BibTeX is fantastic and all, but it's not what I want to be using for my CV.

I did learn, however, that my book now has an ISBN and is destined to hit the shelves this summer. I think I'll send the Amazon.com link to my mom.