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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Thesis Advisor conundrum

Last semester, I took class A and loved the material. It was a subject I excelled in and professor A' was someone I understood well. I thought it was perfect to take the course 2A and make A' my ...
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How does a petty marijuana possession charge affect graduate admissions in math?

I was charged with possession of marijuana earlier this year. In my state, it's not a crime, just a violation with a fine. Technically, it's not even a conviction because there's a diversion program ...
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Is it ok if I haven't decided my research topic when I first meet with a potential phd advisor?

I'm currently in my last semester as a master student and planning to apply for phd degree. I'm going to have a first meeting with my potential phd adviser in a few days and I'm really nervous. All I ...
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Is it ok for an applied mathematician to research a topic that she has personal experience with?

Would this idea be too sensitive / too much information / generally a bad idea? For example, I have a friend who is doing her computational biology PhD at a strong U.S. program, and her main research ...
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What is the median math GRE subject score for admission to a Group 2 or 3 PhD program in applied mathematics?

What are the typical (median or maybe third quartile) scores on the math subject GRE for successful applicants to a math program at the PhD level, in applied math, at a Group 2 or Group 31 school? ...
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Unsatisfactory Instructor Evaluations: balancing of expectations of engineering students

I teach undergraduate and graduate level courses in mechanical engineering at a research oriented university in the United States. I am a teaching track professor and my sole responsibility, on which ...
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Answering “Why do you want to become a research mathematician?”-type questions in a statement of purpose

How should one address the classic "Why do you want to become a research mathematician?"-type question that is normally asked in the statement of purpose when applying to Masters (and also) programs? ...
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Is it bad to apply to one PhD program with the intent of leaving for another (more prestigious) one?

I'm in my senior year of undergrad. I messed up a little bit academically this semester - not seriously, but enough to be confident I wouldn't get into a top 20 math PhD program. So I wanted to work ...
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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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How many hours a day on Mathematics as a successful student?

My motivation to ask this question actually comes from here, receiving negative reactions for 12 hours a day or even 7 hours spending time on Mathematics. A person usually spends 4.5 years to ...
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Why would a small paper (10 pages) with an important result take over a year to get accepted?

Below is an example that I had in mind, but my question is more general: does the reputation of some authors cause their papers to be prioritized for review sooner than other important papers, e.g. ...
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My collaborator has asked to be only acknowledged in a paper. Should I make him a co-author?

I am writing a paper in mathematics. It relies heavily on a result from a different topic that I phrased, felt that it should be true, but I did not know how to prove that result. I asked someone who ...
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Should I ask for permission to write an expository post about someone else's research?

I am a math PhD student in North America about to enter my second year. Last week I attended a conference and was interested in a research presentation by a professor at another school. The ...
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Same review for Math Reviews and Zentralblatt

I have been serving for several years as a reviewer for both Mathematical Reviews (MathSciNet) and ZbMath. Earlier this year, I received an invitation for a paper for MR which I already reviewed for ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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992 views

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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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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 there any research careers except professorship for a person holding PhD in pure mathematics?

I'm interested in mathematical research, but want to know if there are good jobs besides being a professor. Are there any lucrative research-centric careers out there for someone with a PhD in pure ...
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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, ...