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Questions tagged [mathematics]

On standards or conventions specific to mathematics as an academic discipline, and programs that lead to a degree in this field.

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27
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4answers
6k views

Is it a bad idea to say in my statement of purpose that I want to pursue a PhD in applied mathematics primarily to work in industry?

I am seeking some general advice from applied mathematicians at American universities. In my statement of purpose, would my stating that I want to pursue a PhD in applied mathematics primarily for the ...
27
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2answers
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What to do with research results while being in high school?

I have written a math paper on combinatorics (a generalization of a math olympiad problem) and am looking to get it published. I believe I have discovered something new (although I don't claim it is "...
27
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2answers
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Transitioning: PhD to Postdoc and Productivity

I just finished a PhD in Math and I am starting my postdoc in September. I am currently just working on a few collaborations--working on projects that are follow-ups from my dissertation that are ...
27
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6answers
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Graduate school and students with learning disabilities

I'm looking to apply to a Ph.D program in mathematics. I was going to apply last year, but ended up getting cold feet because I wasn't sure how having a learning disability would affect (1) being ...
27
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1answer
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Editors resigning because they published a low quality paper

Very recently the chief editors of the journal 'EMS SURVEYS IN MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES' resigned because they published a paper (whose "methodology does not contradict Cantor’s and non-standard ...
26
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6answers
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What to do when my introductory sentence is taken from another author's paper?

I am about ready to sumbit a paper in mathematics, but I have one worry. While researching, I came across a sentence in the introduction of an old paper that I really want to use (with a very minor ...
26
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5answers
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How could a postdoc look competitive against a tenured professor?

I am a postdoc in mathematics (US) in the process of applying for tenure-track positions. The job market was very competitive and I only ended up with one interview so far. But I found out that for ...
26
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4answers
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Is it a good practice to end a mathematical equation with a comma or a period in a scientific article?

I have noticed from different published articles that mathematical equations may or may not be ended by a comma or a period (depending on their position in the text). Which is the best practice?
26
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7answers
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How detailed should proofs be in a mathematical PhD thesis?

I heard this suggestion from a mathematics professor: In writing a mathematical Ph.D. thesis, it is far more tolerable to be tediously-lengthy than having a gap in the proofs. I think what he means ...
26
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5answers
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Giving a talk on a different topic than what we discussed

I'm a postdoc in mathematics. I had a conversation with a professor after he gave a talk at my university, and he seemed interested in my ideas. I sent him an email the next day to elaborate on our ...
26
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3answers
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How to modify a final draft to reflect that a conjecture in its preprint was refuted?

I am currently in the process of trying to publish a mathematics paper. A draft of this paper had been posted on arxiv, which contained an interesting conjecture. In the intervening time, this ...
26
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7answers
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My research area has very few research positions, would it still be possible for me to stay in academia?

I am a PhD student in mathematics. I felt quite lucky that I got into this program. My research is also going ok, and I got some confirmation from my advisor that I should be able to graduate in a ...
26
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5answers
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If you want to do a PhD in mathematics, how important is it to start immediately after finishing undergraduate studies?

I'm about to finish my undergraduates studies; I majored in mathematics and minored in physics, and I always intended on going to grad school to pursue a PhD in mathematics, but I've been having ...
25
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8answers
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How can I get a PhD position to work on solving a particular mathematics problem that I have formulated independently?

I have a pure mathematics problem which I formulated after years of research in signal processing of audio signals and years going into formulating a problem on precise mathematical terms, which is a ...
25
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13answers
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Is it unwise to pick an old field of research to write a PhD thesis about?

Some areas that come to mind: theory of partial differential equations (analysis and pdes, not numerical PDE) number theory algebra Should I pick a trendy topic so that it is "easier" to write a ...
25
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3answers
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Is it worth delving deep outside my field to revise a paper?

I have a paper that got lost in the editorial pipeline for about a year due to the second reviewer dropping out and not telling anyone. During that year, I didn't revisit the paper much; it was a ...
25
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3answers
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Important factors for hiring a young mathematician

Let's list important factors for evaluation of a job candidate (for research post doc, assistant professor, tenure track, etc): Research experience (research articles, research talks, expository ...
25
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4answers
2k views

What to do when some students pay someone to solve their exams projects and thesis?

There are some students on my masters program in mathematics who don't even know the basics of mathematics like an example of a continuous function or similar. They pay someone else to solve the ...
25
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3answers
8k views

The differences between AMS research journals

The American Mathematical Society (AMS) has quite a few journals titled "(something) of the AMS". The research journals include: Journal of the AMS Proceedings of the AMS Transactions of the AMS ...
24
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9answers
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Is it ethical to send an unpublished draft preprint to a competitor by email to establish priority?

I am a mathematician. I recently formulated a conjecture, and was working toward proving it. Another mathematician I know only via email also conjectured the same around the same time. I now managed ...
24
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5answers
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Is it common for an undergraduate thesis in pure mathematics to prove something new?

What do undergraduate students in mathematics do for their thesis, if they have done one, besides expository or applied math? I was thinking that the kind of research they do is something applied, ...
24
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8answers
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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 ...
24
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2answers
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Keys to a successful postdoc in mathematics

I just finished a PhD in mathematics and am about to start a postdoc in the fall. My question is pretty straightforward (although the answer might not be), namely: What should one do to have a ...
23
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5answers
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Are the Hardy-Littlewood “rules” unethical?

For the second time recently, someone mentioned to me the Hardy-Littlewood rules for collaboration (and on that very site). From what I read about it, they include the following rule: And, finally, ...
23
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14answers
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Should I suggest to use version control for writing a paper with new collaborators?

I will soon write a new article with new collaborators (my first paper with other people, I'm in math). For some context, I know one of them well, but I've never met the others in person. I use Git ...
23
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2answers
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Math Professors — On average, how many hours per week do you think is required to gain tenure? [duplicate]

I have a question particularly for the math professors here. I just finished my second year as a PhD student at a top30 University, passed all my qualifying exams, and I've begun working with an ...
23
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2answers
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How to deal with an incompetent collaborator

I was asked by this (tenure-track) assistant professor X, with whom I'm in very friendly terms, to collaborate on a project together. X and I work in the same broad area of pure math (topology) but ...
23
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1answer
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I keep forgetting what I've learned. Should I even consider pursuing advanced degree in math?

This is my first time posting here, and I'm not very sure whether I should post this in Academia or Math stackexchange. Currently I am a Mathematics/Economics major. I have been taking a lot of math ...
23
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1answer
958 views

Does anyone actually publish “structured proofs”?

In 1995, Leslie Lamport published an essay in the American Mathematical Monthly titled "How to write a proof". In the essay, Lamport introduced the concept of a structured proof, in which the ...
23
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1answer
938 views

Working at a Liberal Arts College in Mathematics

I am finishing my Ph.D. in mathematics and am currently applying to many different schools. I would like to customize my cover letter somewhat for liberal arts colleges. In general, what defines a ...
22
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4answers
8k views

How can an undergraduate be recognized for work done on a paper, with a fellow PhD student and a professor?

I am an undergraduate student, and recently I was introduced a PhD student in my university's math department. In a brief interaction with him, he mentioned that he was doing work in Differential ...
22
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5answers
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A researcher that I know organizes a symposium within a strange conference and has asked me to go. What is the appropriate etiquette for declining?

I have been invited to a symposium related with my research field within a conference devoted to a broad area in Mathematics, not really associated with my field. This symposium is organized by a ...
22
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4answers
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How much does a student's ranking in their cohort matter for PhD applications?

I am from one of the top UK institutions studying mathematics. I am under the impression that UK universities tend to have a larger cohort (~150 per year) than US but perhaps I am wrong. I would ...
22
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5answers
3k views

Should I stay in PhD program I dislike to have a shot at liberal arts teaching?

TL;DR: I'm a pure math graduate student who doesn't like research mathematics. Should I continue and get the PhD because I suspect I might like teaching at a 4-year liberal arts college? I am ...
22
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5answers
9k views

How are mathematicians paid to do research?

How are (pure) mathematicians paid to do research? Let's say my interests lie in the foundations of mathematics and I want to do research in that area. How am I going to get paid for that in the ...
22
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5answers
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How to properly address an unsolved problem that is very hard to solve in mathematical thesis?

I'm preparing my thesis presentation and I'm trying to address a situation in which the general case has no known solution and is an open, very hard to solve, problem. It involves non-isolated ...
22
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2answers
3k views

What to do when a referee asks me to do something impossible/unreasonable?

What are my best options when a reviewer misunderstands my work and asks for an unreasonable improvement? She was very clear that this was a major issue and that she would only accept the paper under ...
22
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5answers
11k views

How do I know if I am truly prepared for graduate school in mathematics?

Tl;dr: Having taken lots of math classes, I've managed to forget a lot of information. Also, since I'm at a small university, most of my peers are not interested in pure mathematics graduate school, ...
22
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2answers
5k views

What kind of help can I request from a terminally ill professor?

I am a student in Mathematics. There is a field I'm interested in (possibly enough to make it my main research area) which is not studied in my city. I've read a lecture notes on this topic a few ...
22
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2answers
3k views

Potential disadvantages of a math postdoc in Europe vs US

I am a mathematics Ph.D student in the United States, and recently received a 3 year postdoctoral offer in Germany, which I have only a few weeks to accept or decline. The offer is very good (high ...
22
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2answers
2k views

After successfully publishing papers during my Post-Doc, why am I now having trouble publishing as a tenure track academic?

I have had my PhD in mathematics for four and a half years now, completed two postdocs and found a tenure track job at a mostly teaching university. While I provide substantial background information ...
22
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1answer
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What happens if your manuscript is accepted as a filler?

I just got a response from a journal of the MAA that my manuscript is accepted as a filler. The correspondence reads: "The Editorial Board likes your submission and has asked me to move it ...
22
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3answers
6k views

What is expected in a masters thesis of a mathematics student?

What is the level of work expected in the masters thesis of a student of maths? I know some people's works are worthy of publications while some involve only studying some topic in detail from a book ...
21
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6answers
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Registering for a math conference with no publication record in this field

I’m pretty sure that I’ve solved a certain open problem in mathematics. My solution is currently in its third week of peer-review at some journal that is known for rejecting cranky papers within five ...
21
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5answers
8k views

Do mathematics researchers regularly solve problems like the ones from Project Euler?

I'm not sure that this is the right exchange for this question. It asks about the possibilities of research in mathematics and computer science. Extended Background I am very interested in ...
21
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3answers
4k views

Will mathematics journals accept a non-novel theorem, but with different approach

Suppose a researcher comes up with a mathematical theorem, which can be obtained trivially from discovered theorems, but with an approach, that was never used before to describe or prove the theorem. ...
21
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3answers
3k views

Is it acceptable for a referee to suggest changing “theorem” into “proposition”?

In mathematics, it is usual to call terminal results "theorems" and intermediate results "propositions" or even "lemmas" depending on importance and place in the overarching proof. Suppose that one is ...
21
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6answers
5k views

May I include results from a collaboration in my PhD thesis?

As a Ph.D. student, I am curious about the following: if you collaborate with a researcher(not necessarily your advisor) while being a student, should you write in your dissertation the work of the ...
21
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3answers
2k views

Why are positions in math so hard to come by nowadays?

Whenever I've heard math professors talk about job prospects in academia, they indicate that the job market has gotten much tougher over the years. Is it true that it is harder now than it used to be ...
21
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4answers
5k views

How possible is it to do mathematical research outside academia?

Does anyone know if it is possible for a Ph.D. graduate of mathematics to successfully do research in his/her spare time? The work environment and conditions in academia seem somewhat deplorable at ...