I'm starting my Maths undergrad and I've been told by several people (other, older students, mainly) that I should really apply myself at getting a "mentor", finding a good teacher/researcher and making a good impression on him/her so later on maybe he/she will consider having me as his/her assistant, someone who'll be willing to answer my questions and give me a good recommendation letter when I need one.
There's a researcher at my college whom I think is brilliant, he wrote one of my favourite algebra texts and I have a very good friend who knows him and says he is incredibly nice - the kind of man who'll answer silly questions without making you feel silly-.
What I want to do is find a really good question, go to his office, and ask for his help. Kind of open a door so that later on I can go and ask him other questions and if he gives a course at my level the following year I'll take it with him and he'll already know me.
That's my plan, but I have no idea as to whether it's a good plan, or even if it's a good idea to try, or just sort of let it happen naturally. I don't know if a researcher, no matter how nice, will find it annoying or if it's something that happens all the time and they're used to it. I don't know if there's a better way to approach him, either.
I know that perhaps I should try to win over someone who is already my teacher, but non of the teacher I have right now does research, and my first semester classes are so large it's almost impossible for the teachers to pay attention to any of us individually, besides this researcher works in an area that I find really interesting.
So if someone here can give me some good advice (as a teacher, researcher or student) about how to proceed I would really appreciate it. Perhaps this is a dumb question. Am I worrying to much about this? Or is it good that I'm thinking ahead?
Thanks a lot.