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I am a postdoc in mathematics. I read a paper of a Chinese mathematician some time ago and I found out that I could extend it. Therefore, I dropped an email to him, and then he told me if I could do it, it would be an interesting result. He also told me " I would be happy to know if you have anything to share with me," I thought that meant he would like to work with me. So, I wrote an email to him that contains all of my ideas. Now, I found out that my ideas work and everything correct.

My problem is he hasn't replied to my email after two weeks and I might be pessimistic but I am scared he steals my ideas and whatever I explained to him.

Even though I am a postdoc, he is a well-known mathematician. Moreover, we both use university emails to contact each other. What should I do now? Thanks in advance.

I have been writing it, but what I can do if he published it before me

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  • What is the problem exactly? Why don't you publish your paper?
    – Louic
    Jan 1 '21 at 11:19
  • I have been writing it, but what I can do if he published it before me?
    – Adam
    Jan 1 '21 at 11:23
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    Publish what you have written...? At least in a preprint, then you can easily add stuff and authors later if your "co-author" provides input (I don't see where he suggested to work together on a paper, just that he was interested in hearing what you have done)
    – Mark
    Jan 1 '21 at 11:51
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    @Adam When you say "I found out that my ideas work and everything correct" you omit any information on where you found this information. Was it the "Chinese mathematician" checking your work or fixing it in some way. Or did you check all the details. Jan 1 '21 at 19:30
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    Write up your results and post them on the arXiv. Jan 1 '21 at 20:55
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Just go ahead and publish. The Chinese mathematician has not contributed to your work in any way other than saying that your results would be interesting. In fact, in my eyes it would be entirely inappropriate for this person to be your coauthor.

I would suggest though to also discuss this with your PI to make sure she/he agrees.

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