3

I'm finishing my master's degree in physics and I'm searching for a PhD position. A potential professor for PhD is almost 60 years old and he has not published any paper since 2014!

What do you think about this?

closed as too broad by padawan, corey979, scaaahu, Buzz, gman Dec 19 '18 at 13:02

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • How regularly has he published up until 2014? – Mark Sep 15 '17 at 8:06
  • I think about 3 papers per year. – Immanuel Sep 15 '17 at 8:07
  • It's likely that he stopped caring about publishing himself and lets his students get all the glory. – Attila Kinali Sep 15 '17 at 9:48
  • So, is it advisable? I'm afraid, he has no motivations and projects anymore in head. – Immanuel Sep 15 '17 at 9:54
  • 1
    You could send him an e-mail and ask if he's taking on new students or projects at this point? also possible that he just has not bothered updating the place you looked for his publications. – virmaior Sep 15 '17 at 11:12
8

You are concerned that this professor does not publish because she/he ran out of ideas and motivation. Although this could be the case, there are other possibilities, which I want to point to you:

  • They are working on a very large and important textbook and don't have time to publish.
  • They have a lot of PhD students and allow them to publish as a single author (a bit unusual these days, but still happens)
  • They don't cope well with modern technology (computers, word processors, simulation tools, etc), and rely on their students to help them put their ideas into final publication.

I suggest talking to professor and asking these questions face-to-face.

  • 3
    Option 1 seems realistic indeed and is impossible to find out without asking. Option 2 is realistic, too, but can be found without asking, assuming a website where the students are listed. Option 3 would be surprising, given that publication technology hasn't changed so much since 2014. – lighthouse keeper Sep 15 '17 at 10:11
  • 4
    The Prof might've had a student until 2014, but no-one to assist later. – Dmitry Savostyanov Sep 15 '17 at 10:38

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.