Uniform figures styles in your thesis using Matlab

If there is one thing that I learned from writing a doctoral thesis, it is how much of a pain managing data and figures can be. For example, you may perform a simulation in year 1, an experiment in year 4, and when you write up the journal paper or the thesis chapter in which you compare the two, you need to fetch the right figures and have them look professional, printable, and preferably in a uniform style. Moreover, the figures need to be adaptable to different uses, such as poster presentations, a conference talk or a printed publication. In this article, I will outline the method I have developed for myself for achieving this in Mathworks Matlab and LaTeX.

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Installing BEM++ from source

During my PhD, I implemented a Python+BEM++ alternative of the SCUFF-EM code for the fluctuating surface current formalism for near-field radiative heat transfer.

The developers of BEM++ are very active and maintain the code very well. They also try to make the installation of the framework as easy as possible, and release a Docker installer for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Unfortunately, this cannot be used on the computing cluster of Delft University of Technology, because of the lack of root permissions.

The system administrators do not support installing third party software, so I had to go the long way round and do a complete installation from source code myself. From the Google group for BEM++ it seems more people want to run the code under similar circumstances. Below you will find the steps I took to get BEM++ installed on our cluster, and solutions for problems I ran into. You will probably not be able to just copy the steps one-by-one, but I hope it may serve as inspiration to get it going in your environment. A bit of knowledge about linux and compiling will help you a lot.

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