JHU Thesis LaTeX FAQ

I get an error when I use \thebibliography. It says \newblock undefined. What gives?

Yep, \newblock is undefined. Include the following, for example in your mydefs.sty, or modify it if you like:
\def\newblock{\hskip .11em plus .33em minus .07em}

Before you include the bibliography, add the following:
"toc" means the table of contents (you can arbitrarily add to table and figure lists as well) and "chapter" means to add it as a chapter. If you had a bibliography at the end of a chapter, you could use "section" instead.

How do I reference the chapter numbers in my thesis?

Just add a \label to the chapter heading like you do with sections, etc. For example:
\chapter{Introduction\label{mythesisintro}}

My section headings/captions in the table of contents/figure list/table list look funny. It doesn't like a change in fonts. For example \ion looks totally wrong.

I don't know how to fix this. The toc evidently forces certain fonts and doesn't like the smaller font used by \ion. One solution is just to change \ion{C}{4} to C~IV. This probably doesn't give the spacing you want. You could define a command like \ion just for use in captions, like this:
\newcommand\capion[2]{\mbox{#1\hspace{0.2em}{\rmfamily\@Roman{#2}}}}
The font still won't be the smaller font, but the difference is very small.

How do I add a dedication to my thesis?

Not everyone does this, but if you want to, the usual place is after the abstract. LaTeX isn't designed for free formatting of text, so doing this requires some sort of a hack. You could add the following after the abstract:
\newpage
\begin{center}
\vspace*{2in}
{\it for Randy and Charles}
\end{center}

I want my figures to be on the same page with text, but LaTeX puts each figure on its own page. How can I change the way figures are embedded in the text?

As you probably know from previous experience, figure placement in LaTeX can be a pain. There are float placement parameters that LaTeX uses that are defined in thesis.cls. What they do are, to say the least, not obvious, as their definitions in the LaTeX manual seem fairly weakly correlated with the effects they have on figure placement. Anyway, these environment variables are in the thesis.cls after where it says FIGURES AND TABLES. For my dissertation, I changed \topfraction and \floatpagefraction in thesis.cls. Alternatively, you should be able to redefine them later with \renewcommand. I have
\def\topfraction{.9}
\def\floatpagefraction{.8}

The others I left the same as the original thesis.cls. This should embed more figures and tables in the text (i.e. permit the floats to take up more of the page.) Experiment with the variables to get what you want.
Randal C. Telfer