I am a Masters student in Mathematics. As part of my Masters project, I have to do independent study and try to "do" something: like tackling a problem of recent interest. So these days I am reading a lot.

However I also have a tendency of trying to present the things I know before my professors. I believe a lot in sharing of this knowledge. In my university there aren't too many lectures and people work on their own, so this social dissemination of ideas/information is not much in vogue. I wish somebody did that to me also as then I would be in a rather better position.

But is it stupid to try to expose the recent knowledge in my field? Now, when I say Mathematics, I really mean a particular subarea of Mathematics, where my interests lie. So please do not have the impression that I am spreading out too much.

I am just anxious that people will get tired of hearing my presentations if I hold such talks too regularly. But there are really so many things to learn, so many new things to do, how can one sit still without realising that life is short, and knowledge is progressing at an exponential rate? I often feel only I am the one really interested to know/do things, and others don't really share this spirit.

So, although I am reading a lot, should I try to present every small bit I have come across? Or only the major papers and recent breakthroughs? And what do you think about the frequency of such presentations?

Note, I have been told I am a very good expositor.

  • 4
    What format will this take? Are these public seminars, group meetings, or something else?
    – aeismail
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 4:56
  • 5
    Do people have to attend these talks? Seems like if your talks are too frequent or not useful, people will just not attend, no harm done. If you give daily talks to a large, happy audience, then I'm not sure what the problem is (whether this is a good use of your time is a separate question). Am I missing something?
    – cag51
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 5:27
  • Graduate students' seminars are rather common where I've studied/worked. Have you looked for such seminars?
    – user9646
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 15:07
  • 1
    It sounds like you might want to organize a reading group on your area of interest. You would invite peers and perhaps a couple of faculty advisors. You could present a few (note - just a few) papers this way every semester. Note that you would also need to let others present.
    – Dawn
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 18:44
  • We don’t have the culture of frequent graduate students talks. I am therefore talking of informal board presentations. But one comment really made me think. Is it worthwhile on my part also? That is, will time permit? Maybe by the time I am preparing something, I can read something else. Commented May 5, 2018 at 1:38

1 Answer 1


For me, -It really depends on who are you presenting to. Usually when I share something that seems interesting to my friends, usually they are happy but this won't suit to everyone. I would suggest to share a lot with people who is in same subarea of study with you or interested in your readings and do short presentations to others infrequently. The frequency of both of them will depend on your time and how interested people are.

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