2.1 Front Matter

The front matter is initiated with the appropriately-named command

\frontmatter

Specifically, this command automatically creates the title, signature, and copyright pages, and produces the table of contents and lists of tables and figures. Some of these pages require information such as author name, thesis title, names of examining committee members, submission date, and so on. The commands to specify this information are described in the following sections.

2.1.1 Basic Information

The thesis title and author’s name are specified with standard LATEX commands:

\title{thesis title}
Defines the title of your thesis. The title will appear in large print on the first page, and also on the signature and copyright pages. If it is too long to fit on a line, it will automatically be split into separate lines. If you wish to specify explicit line breaks, use the \\ command inside the title. For example,
    \title{Very Long\\Title\\Split Over\\Several Lines}

Make sure that there is no space before \\.

\author{author’s name}
Defines your name as you wish it to appear in the thesis.

The next set of commands allow you to specify further basic information that will be displayed in the front matter. All of this information has been assigned default values. As such, you only need to use those commands for which the default values are not appropriate. In particular, a student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Dalhousie University need not use any of the following commands.

\dept{department}
Defines the author’s department. The default is “Mathematics and Statistics”.
\faculty{faculty}
Defines the degree granting faculty. The default is “Graduate Studies”.
\university{name of university}
Defines the name of the university. The default is “Dalhousie University”. You can specify line breaks for long names, if desired.
\address{university address}
Defines the address of the university. The default is “Halifax, Nova Scotia”.

Note: The Faculty of Engineering sets additonal regulations for thesis submission [1]. In particular, the appearance of the front matter differs slightly from that suggested by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The dalthesis class adheres to both sets of regulations by adjusting its behaviour based on the value of the \faculty macro. That is, once an engineering student specifies

    \faculty{Engineering}

in his or her LATEX file, dalthesis acts accordingly.

2.1.2 Graduation and Submission Information

Since more than one date is required in the front matter of a thesis, the singular command \date is of no use here. The dalthesis class provides three date-related commands.

\submitdate{month day, year}
Defines the date that the thesis is submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. This is typically given as a month and year, for example:
       \submitdate{April 6, 2000}

If omitted, it will be set to the current month and year. Note: this date is not used if \faculty is set to Engineering; use \defencedate instead.

\defencedate{month year}
Defines the date that the thesis is defended. This is typically given as a month and year, for example:
       \defencedate{April, 2000}

If omitted, it will be set to the current month and year. Note: this date is only applicable to Engineering students.

\copyrightyear{year}
Defines the copyright year of the thesis. Normally, this is the same year in which the thesis is submitted. Faculty of Engineering students should set this to the year of the defence. If omitted, it will be set to the current year.
\convocation{month}{year}
Defines the month and year of the convocation. If omitted, it will be set to the following May or October after the submit date.

2.1.3 Degree Specification

Not surprisingly, the front matter also includes the name of the degree being sought (and hopefully ascertained!). To specify the degree, use one of the following commands.

\bschon
Sets the degree name to “Bachelor of Science, Honours” and the degree initial to “B.Sc. (Hon)”.
\ma
Sets the degree name to “Master of Arts” and the degree initial to “M.A.”.
\msc
Sets the degree name to “Master of Science” and the degree initial to “M.Sc.”. This is the default degree.
\masc
Sets the degree name to “Master of Applied Science” and the degree initial to “M.A.Sc.”.
\phd
Sets the degree name to “Doctor of Philosophy” and the degree initial to “Ph.D.”. This command also changes the signature page to include an external examiner.

For degrees not included in the above predefined names, dalthesis provides two generic commands.

\degree{Full Degree Title}
Defines the full name of the degree.
\degreeinitia{F.D.T.}
Defines the degree’s initials.

For example:

    \degree{Master of Business Administration}  
    \degreeinitial{M.B.A.}

2.1.4 Signatures

The signature page is where members of the examining committee sign their names indicating that the thesis is accepted. The printed names on this page are specified with the following commands.

\supervisor{supervisor’s name}
Specifies the research supervisor’s name.
\examiner{external examiner’s name}
Specifies the external examiner’s name; used only for a Ph.D. degree.
\reader{reader’s name}
Specifies the name of a reader. Use this for all other members of the examining committee.

The \supervisor and \reader commands are repeatable, and the order in which the names are specified is the order in which they are listed on the signature page. For example, if you use

    \supervisor{Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann}  
    \supervisor{Carl Friedrich Gauss}  
    \reader{Jane Doe}  
    \reader{John Smith}

then “Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann” will be the primary supervisor, “Carl Friedrich Gauss” will be the cosupervisor, and “Jane Doe” will be listed before “John Smith” in the list of readers. Provisions have been made to allow at most two supervisors and at most five readers.

2.1.5 Preface Material

The front matter also includes the abstract and acknowledgements (though technically the acknowledgements section is not required). These sections are produced with the following environments.

\begin{abstract} text \end{abstract}
Generates an abstract with text as its contents on a page by itself.
\begin{acknowledgements} text \end{acknowledgements}
Generates an acknowledgements section with text as its contents.

Other preface sections are catered for with the command

\prefacesection{Section title}

The title is typeset similar to that of chapter titles, but not numbered. This command, as well as the above environments must appear between the \frontmatter and \mainmatter commands.