Linked Questions

3
votes
4answers
1k views

How to deal when you're an actual imposter in academia? [duplicate]

I'm a second-year PhD student at a well-ranked university, and am seriously beginning to feel that I'm an imposter in this place. My lab group is filled with people who ranked in the top 0.01 percent ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to know if one is suitable for pursuing academia or Research work their entire life? [duplicate]

I am a PhD student in engineering in an university in Canada. I am close to completion of my thesis but I am not very proud of my work. I have couple of publications from my work, all in decent ...
4
votes
1answer
349 views

About to submit my PhD thesis in 4 months, feeling lost about my future and inadequate for any job. What should I do? [duplicate]

I am about to submit my PhD thesis in 4 months and have to move on from being a student. I am already 30 (so a sort of mid-life crisis catching up). I feel that I made a really big mistake in entering ...
0
votes
1answer
144 views

How can I up my confidence level in my technical skills? [duplicate]

Let me paint a picture of my background in brief. I did my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. I was a good student (almost all A's) till my high school. However, I struggled a lot in my ...
156
votes
21answers
22k views

How do you come to terms with the fact that you might never be among the best in your research community?

I am currently a PhD student advised by a new (and awesome, in my opinion) theoretical computer scientist in the field of optimization. This was my dream ever since I took a class on convex ...
118
votes
19answers
34k views

Should I quit my PhD - workload, self-esteem and social life [closed]

I don't really want a degree. I just want to get married, and have weekends and evenings off, and chill out and play board games, and have nice conversations with friends, and have time to exercise ...
114
votes
11answers
27k views

What to remember when supervising female PhD students?

I have been supervising a female PhD student for a couple of months. She is the first female PhD student I am supervising and got the position on merit. My view is that her gender does not/should ...
55
votes
15answers
15k views

If you know a family member who is much more qualified and capable in mathematics than you are, should find another field of specialisation?

Imposter Syndrome and depression: I feel pretty depressed that I am not as "qualified" as a close family member. In particular, this family member has undergraduate and graduate (PhD) degrees from Ivy ...
88
votes
11answers
24k views

Where did I lose control of my studies?

I am a 5th MSc semester mathematics student at a local German university. Since fall, I have been working on my thesis, which is the only remaining task for finishing my studies. I had not had ...
66
votes
10answers
19k views

I recently started my machine learning PhD and I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing

I started my PhD a few months ago. Seriously, I don't know how I got accepted, but here I am. I am not a computer scientist, but come from a different STEM background. My knowledge in machine ...
56
votes
13answers
10k views

I don't have the theoretical background in my PhD topic. I can't justify getting the degree

I did my PhD in computational materials science. I used molecular dynamics simulations and finite element method to carry out my research investigations. I have published several publications and ...
69
votes
11answers
7k views

Is praising students' aptitude harmful?

As a computer science professor, I have told some talented students one-on-one that they show a real aptitude for computer science and that they should seriously consider taking more classes in it. I'...
42
votes
14answers
15k views

My advisor said that I should be more modest, and we should meet more often. Should I tell him about my impostor syndrome? If yes, mail or personal?

I am a PhD student in Europe, currently in my second year, and I have some attitude problems concerning my work. I really want to work on my problem, that's fine, but what bothers me is the following....
53
votes
5answers
8k views

The feeling of inferiority entering a PhD program due to one's undergraduate school rank

According to Stanford's Computer Science graduate admissions department this year: 110 students were accepted. Nearly all accepted applicants were from Stanford (BS/MS), MIT, Berkeley, Princeton, ...
54
votes
6answers
5k views

Is it normal to feel dread before starting a faculty position?

I need some advice. After several months of interviews and work, I secured a faculty position at a good business school, which was a relief since jobs are so hard to get around here. Everyone tells me ...
47
votes
6answers
10k views

I've been admitted to multiple PhD programs, how should I choose between them?

I've been admitted to more than one PhD program, and I'm having a very hard time making a decision. The programs I'm accepted to have advantages and disadvantages with respect to one another. How do ...
29
votes
8answers
6k views

Is it okay if a PhD student's work seems insignificant compared to others'?

I am a theoretical computer science student working on algorithms. I am doubting myself a bit, as I have spent the last 6-7 months working on one problem. Although I am not able to solve the desired ...
42
votes
8answers
5k views

How can a new PhD Student objectively evaluate how well they are doing?

I'm a relatively new PhD student, and I'm faced with a new (for me) situation. Before, I always had grades and the likes to tell me how good or bad I was doing: if I was at or near the top/bottom of ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

Feeling unprepared for PhD because of poor educational system in my home country. Should I leave PhD to retake courses somewhere else?

I will give some background. I am from a third world country, and I am doing my math PhD in Europe. During high school and university years I participated in many maths competitions, and even got to ...
36
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I know if I'm good enough to be a math professor?

I would like to apply for graduate school to become a mathematics professor. However, given that the opportunity cost of grad school is high and that I already have a stable, good paying job, I would ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

What if you can't publish in very high impact journal or top conference during your PhD?

I am a year 2 PhD student doing my research in the area of time series analysis. Since year 1, I'm always aiming to publish in high impact factor journal (Impact factor >= 7) or top conferences, maybe ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

How should I deal with feeling dumb? [duplicate]

I am a graduate student in mathematics at a top school. Most of other students achieved gold medal in International mathematics olympiad for high school and/or other similar competitions. Most did ...
15
votes
5answers
775 views

Good at coursework and learning background material, but attempts at original research go downhill. How to overcome psychological block?

Okay, so I am a math student currently on leave from a graduate program in math and computer science. I have always been good at coursework. I ace examinations and manage good grades. I can ...
27
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I stop feeling intimidated by my advisor?

Whenever I meet my advisor and interact with him, in class or otherwise, I can't help feeling intimidated. I feel scared of the fact that I may fall below his expectations, and I become tongue-tied ...
8
votes
2answers
678 views

How can I overcome feelings of unworthiness after finding mistakes in my research?

I'm currently a PhD student suffering from extreme anxiety after finding some mistakes in my scientific paper 7 months back. I've talked to my supervisor about it and he said that those were simple ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How do deal with low self-confidence after a failed research rotation?

In short, my third rotation research supervisor withdrew support on a Friday afternoon before my scheduled qualifying exam the following Wednesday. I had been rotating in the lab for about three ...
2
votes
2answers
523 views

Already in grad school, but is grad school for me? [closed]

I'm sure you've seen a dozen variations on this question in this forum, but here's mine: I've just finished my first year in a top US PhD program in the physical sciences, which I never dreamed I ...
2
votes
1answer
543 views

Restoring self confidence - possible? [duplicate]

I am having a personal crisis and I thought maybe I should ask for some guidance in this forum. I have been in grad school in 4 years, failed qualifiers once passed at second attempt. I am dedicated ...
6
votes
1answer
237 views

Is it commonplace for students to feel anxious about graduation?

So, I am but a semester away from graduating from college as a Computer Programmer in Canada. All is well in the grades department - I've completed all assigned work and maintained a ~4.0 GPA ...
1
vote
1answer
349 views

Doubting my PhD ability

Writing this from a temporary account. I am enrolled in a PhD program in math, and more and more often I am doubting my abilities in doing the program. I work, so it happens, de facto under two ...
4
votes
0answers
278 views

Lose my nerve while doing research

I'm a starting graduate student in math. Without a doubt I'm not a genius or even that smart, and that creates a serious problem: I often lose my nerve while doing research or studying other people's ...
1
vote
3answers
308 views

How to have confidence in my research?

I'm a PhD student at a reputed institution and in my 4th year now. I'm researching in the domain of information security & privacy. I've got a number of good conference publications (4 ...