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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Access to math papers

I graduated with my PhD in math two years ago, and I am no longer affiliated with a university. However I am still actively researching. Often it's possible to get papers on arxiv or directly from the ...
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Is it possible to earn a PhD in mathematics with emphasis in teaching?

I am currently a final year undergraduate, majoring in Pure Mathematics. My aim is to become a Maths lecturer in a university. With this in mind, I need to apply Phd in mathematics in the coming year. ...
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Should I cite a paper that I haven't read if I use a theorem in it?

In my Master's thesis I use a theorem that is recent enough that I could find the article where it is proved, but I've actually learned the theorem and its proof in two books by other authors. Is it ...
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Is it bad to apply for a second postdoc immediately after starting a first one?

I have finished my PhD in pure mathematics 3 months ago, and have just (one week ago) started a 1 year post doc appointment in another area of applied mathematics (it has only very very minor links ...
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How to Remain Competitive at a Mediocre University?

I am attending a university with a mediocre mathematics department. The courses at my school cover fewer topics and are less challenging than the same courses at top universities. How can I avoid ...
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How to correct a fundamental error in a series of papers made by a colleague of your adviser?

I am a PhD student in mathematics. I recently found a fundamental error in a method used in a series of papers. My adviser confirmed that. One of those wrong papers was authored by a researcher who ...
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While applying for PhD in mathematics, am I better off dropping a course I'm performing poorly in?

I may or may not 'drop' my Point Set Topology course since I performed very poorly in it (also I am partially inclined to 'drop' the course so as to avoid a low GPA ), but I do not have any idea ...
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How to decide the appropriate level of explanation for math in academic papers?

In any academic paper dealing at least in part with math, the authors have to make a choice how much explanation to actually give the math. It can range from pretty much no explanation: Given a ...
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What are pre-print repositories for math and physics alternative to ArXiv?

Are there other widely used academic pre-print repositories other than ArXiv? My interest is especially towards mathematics and physics. If possible, one characteristic that I'd like to find in other ...
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What should one look for in a statement of purpose (from the admissions side) in mathematics?

I'm a youngish (recently tenured) faculty member at a reasonably, but not extremely prestigious university in the mathematics department. While I've looked at some graduate admissions files, this is ...
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Postdoc recommendation letters: The European-American gap and how to overcome it

I heard from several sources that European recommendation letters for postdoc positions tend to be minimalist and understated, while the American ones are way more enthusiastic. I have two questions ...
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What should I do if I have previously seen a problem on a homework assignment?

Suppose I am taking a mathematics course on something I have studied partially by myself. Say the professor assigns a problem whose proof I have already seen before, whether through owning a textbook ...
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Is it appropriate/safe to ask for help on major theorem proof of my paper online?

I have been stuck on the proof of a major theorem in my forthcoming paper for about two weeks. Since offline help is limited, I'm trying to see if there is more help online. But I have two concerns. ...
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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 ...
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Is solving all of the exercises in a textbook a good idea? [closed]

Is solving all of the exercises in a textbook a good idea? I'm particularly concerned with textbooks on mathematics. I have this obsession that I should solve all of the problems that a textbook has. ...
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Which tenure-track jobs would a new math PhD have a shot at?

I will be finishing my PhD in pure math next semester, so I'm applying for jobs. I've noticed that on Mathjobs.org, listings for tenure-track positions do not say that one must have experience beyond ...
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Is an erratum justified for a weak result?

A few years ago I had published a mathematics journal article where for one of the results I had imposed extremely strong assumptions to ensure that given conclusion is true. Figuratively speaking, I ...
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Should I apply to tenure-track positions if I'm fairly certain I won't be staying?

I hope to receive my PhD in Mathematics in May of 2015, so I am currently applying for jobs. Due to life circumstances, I'm fairly certain that I will only be staying at my next position for about 2 ...
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In a thesis, is it appropriate to allude to results obtained later on?

I am writing a math thesis. I want to provide a result in chapter 2, but formally prove this result in chapter 8. This is because I am introducing a bunch of definitions in between these chapters and ...
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How to write a postdoc research proposal in mathematics?

I have to write a research proposal for some (post doctoral) fellowship (for Mathematics/Mathematical Physics). The authority wants me to submit a short research proposal (preferably in two pages ...
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Should I use recommendation letter from young professor I worked with or well-known professor I met in class?

I'm choosing reference writers for my math PhD application this year, and need to decide between the 2 following professors: Professor X is a young professor with whom I took measure theory and did ...
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Graduate math student migrating to engineering?

I don't know how to start, truly, but lately I've been involved with some projects in pure mathematics and I've grown frustrated and disappointed. I don't think that pure mathematics is so inspiring; ...
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Does your supervisor have to be able to understand your thesis?

I am currently writing my master thesis in mathematics and for those who are more familiar with the subject, I am more into analysis whereas my supervisor is more into computational sciences. My ...
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Which are the best journals for letters in mathematics (bordering with mathematical physics)? [closed]

Although in mathematics the letters, i.e., really short articles, just a few pages long, are perhaps less common than in the other fields (see e.g. the comments by Pete L. Clark under his answer to ...
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What are the pros and cons of being a Mathematical Reviews' reviewer?

I received a letter from Mathematical Reviews inviting me to be a reviewer. Before I make my decision, may I ask what are the possible advantages and/or disadvantages of being a reviewer?
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Is admission standard for math PhD significantly higher than that for physics PhD?

I'm a student at a small LAC, and I'm considering to apply to both math and physics PhD programs. In my school, which is top 15 but do not have large (20 students in each dep.) or well-known ...
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Is it normal for math grad students to be required to take summer classes to work?

My mathematics department apparently gets pressured by the university to have more people take courses during the summer. We are also encouraged to take on TA responsibilities to make extra cash ...
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How to cope with feelings of powerlessness on a PhD?

I am currently a third year PhD student of pure mathematics. I've been dealing with a feeling of burn out for a long time now. Quite frankly I struggle to find interest in anything related to my ...
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Ethics of not referencing StackExchange in a publication? [duplicate]

So I'm feeling a bit guilty. I've been working on a publication proof (my first) of an interesting theorem. The issue is I've been using StackExchange (Mathematics) to answer some similar questions ...
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Is my career over if thesis went bad?

I wrote a master thesis which went quite bad, due to communication problems with advisor, and my advisor said he is not willing to continue guiding me for PhD studies. Specifically, I was asked to ...
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Are Mathematics graduate programs open to admitting a student out of high school with graduate work?

During my high school career, I had the unique opportunity to take multiple mathematics courses at my local university, and after graduating, I took two graduate level math courses: Measure theory, ...
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Found and corrected a mistake on someone's else paper — praxis?

3-4 months ago I found a big mistake in a theorem's proof of a paper that had just been published (stats/cs community). I immediately notified the authors, who claimed to be aware of the mistake but ...
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Are rejections usually quick for papers submitted to journals?

When submitting papers to journals, I understand from experience that acceptance can take quite some time (on the order of several months), even when a reviewer is immediately assigned to the paper. ...
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Do we cite results in Arxiv which are obviously wrong?

I am now writing up a math paper, and there is an Arxiv paper posted back in 2009 which proved a weaker version of my result. But I don’t think their paper will be published in any journal – their ...
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Does one need a specific field in mind to apply to a PhD program in mathematics?

When applying for the PhD program in mathematics, usually, one is not required to specify in what field (e.g., PDE, dynamical system, etc.) he/she intends to do. However, I don't know whether it will ...
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How should I convince my parents about a career in mathematics?

I am an 11th grader and studying undergraduate mathematics and living in India. I want to become a mathematician, but there is one problem in this path. My parents want me to become a medical doctor, ...
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How do some Ws on transcripts affect PhD admissions in mathematics?

I am a senior who is graduating in December with a Bachelor's Degree in Pure math. I would really love to apply to the PhD program. However, I have been really depressed because even though I have a ...
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Is teaching calculus important for getting a job as a university professor in mathematics?

I am a master's student currently deciding between two different Ph. D. programs in mathematics. The two programs have very different teaching opportunities as a grad student. One of the two ...
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What percentage of phds in math actually get a tenure track academic job?

I'm interested in knowing what percentage of math phds actually succeed in landing a tenure track academic job? Also, does a phd from AMS Group 1 guarantees you an academic job in top universities? ...
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Switch from pure mathematics to machine learning as postdocs?

I'm a first year postdoc in pure mathematics (geometry/topology with strong background in analysis) with undergraduate statistics and probability background (with also measure theoretic probability). ...
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How can I overcome the fact that I attend a weak undergraduate institution?

I am currently a traditional sophomore math major at a large university in the southern USA. I'm interested in attending graduate school once I graduate, but my university has a weak math program, and ...
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Easy proof of a big conjecture based on possibly faulty paper – what to do?

I’m a mathematician. I noted that, by combining some results from the literature (all published) and some little effort, one obtains a proof of a big conjecture (at least in the field; it even has a ...
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Tips for making online presentation over Skype

I am about to complete my PhD. My area is functional analytic/ operator theoretic aspects of quantum information. I am applying for post-doctoral positions in various places. Recently, one group ...
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1answer
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When writing a synopsis “review”, may I contact the authors with questions?

Please read the following background paragraph carefully to understand the meaning of "review" in this question - it may not be what you think. In particular, this is not a duplicate of Is it ...
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Do course buyouts happen in pure mathematics?

I am a pure mathematician teaching a 2-2 load at a state research university in the United States. I know that many of my colleagues in applied math, engineering, and the laboratory sciences are able ...
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Recommendation letters for “good enough” students

I'm a math professor. I get asked to write a number of recommendation letters to graduate schools where my honest view of the candidate is "this student would fall somewhere in the bottom 25-50% of ...
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Is it bad to apply for a job immediately after it was posted?

I am applying for jobs on mathjobs.org, and I regularly refresh the new postings page. Sometimes I see jobs that I want to apply for right away, but I am not sure if it looks bad. I am worried about ...
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May I discuss a paper I have only seen as a referee? [duplicate]

Recently I refereed a paper in pure mathematics. Although I recommended a "major revision", I was quite impressed with the paper, and indeed I would like to: (1) describe his results in a grant ...
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I found another proof of my theorem. Can I present two different proofs in the paper?

My area is mathematics. I have just found another proof of the main theorem in my paper. It is slightly more elegant than the previous proof that I wrote, but the idea is very different. When ...
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How to explain things in the motivation section of a mathematical paper without proper definitions?

I want to start a chapter in my dissertation by motivating a mathematical operator by showing why it is interesting to look at it and what I can contribute to understand it better. However, I actually ...