It turns out to be quite straightforward to add latex support in jekyll. In my _include/head.html, I added the MathJax link as follows

<head>
....
....
<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://cdn.mathjax.org/mathjax/latest/MathJax.js?config=TeX-AMS-MML_HTMLorMML">
</script>

Then inline latex formula can be rendered using $$F=ma$$. To get math formula in display mode, make sure there are blank lines before and after the formula.
Sometimes the latex is not rendered correctly and it seems the problem is that the markdown interpreter tries to interpret the latex. In these cases, the solution is to put <span> ... </span> or <div> ... </div> around the latex.