Questions tagged [professors]

Queries related to professors, a highly accomplished and recognized academic and an expert in their respective discipline.

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152
votes
9answers
18k views

Prof's neurological health is declining rapidly. What can I (TA) do?

I'm a law student acting as a teaching assistant/fellow for a tenured and notable law professor. Between last year when I took the course myself and now when I am a TA/TF, his mental acuity and health ...
127
votes
11answers
28k views

Why are professors' websites so ugly?

I can't help but notice that even in CS, professors' websites are almost always difficult to navigate, poorly-organized, and just generally hard to look at (poorly-tiled backgrounds, inconsistent ...
125
votes
13answers
22k views

Should professors intervene if a student is wearing offensive clothing in their classroom?

A question about university dress codes reminded me of an incident that happened when I was an undergrad, in which a classmate came to school wearing a really offensive and misogynistic t-shirt. I ...
118
votes
15answers
31k views

How do you answer “Oh, you're a professor? What do you teach?”

I suspect anybody who's a professor knows this story: you meet someone new in a social setting and it comes up that you're a professor. The inevitable next question is, "oh, what do you teach?" It's ...
114
votes
13answers
30k views

Is it appropriate to email a professor saying you enjoyed their class, after doing well in it?

I recently finished taking an undergraduate class and I enjoyed it. I was thinking of emailing the prof and saying this, but I don't know if it's appropriate or not, for a few reasons: I would have ...
108
votes
9answers
27k views

Is it reasonable for a professor to ask students to stay 30-45 minutes past scheduled class time every week?

I'm currently in a class in my major that meets for 50 minutes 3 times a week. Meanwhile, I'm a member of a campus club, unrelated to my major, which meets right after this class one day. My ...
105
votes
13answers
20k views

Is it ethical for a professor to get masters students to work on open source modules related to the professor's profit-making company?

My professor of Computer Science has a company (both based in Germany) that promotes an open-source software. Of course the software is free and open-source, but his company generates profits through ...
103
votes
23answers
35k views

How can I prevent students from writing answers on an assignment, then claiming I didn't see their answer?

What is a good way to prevent students from writing an answer after you hand back a graded assignment (exam/homework) and claiming that you did not see their answer? It is clear to me that this ...
98
votes
14answers
340k views

Assistant professor vs Associate professor

What's the difference between an associate professor and an assistant professor? What can one of them do that the other can't? and which is a higher level? can any of them supervise a PhD student?
91
votes
12answers
20k views

Why do professors want to make sure that their notes written on the blackboard will not be published?

I am a university student and have recently found out how much easier it is to use my smart phone to take snapshots of notes professors write on the blackboard during lectures (since I am quite bad at ...
91
votes
7answers
11k views

As a department head, what to do if a professor leaves without giving out grades?

I am department head. An adjunct professor teaching two courses in my department left without notice. He did not deliver the grades to me. We have no staff in that field to give the final exam again. ...
84
votes
10answers
12k views

How to deal with a professor who grades assignments and exams incorrectly

I currently have a (graduate) professor who clearly does not understand the material she teaches at the level required by the course. This normally would not be a problem - I'm fine with educating ...
83
votes
17answers
13k views

Is it acceptable for a professor to tell male students to not think that they are smarter than female students?

The situation occurred in the first lecture of an undergraduate course in a STEM field at an university. The professor said that there are less than 20% female students in the class, while the usual ...
82
votes
9answers
13k views

Is it acceptable for a professor to ask post-doc student to babysit for free?

Like the title says, I have a friend who is a post-doc and her professor is asking her and another post-doc to baby-sit for him. He does not pay them, he simply expects them to baby-sit for free ...
81
votes
6answers
12k views

Is it ethical for a Professor to disseminate wrong answers online?

I recently took a class where the Professor created multiple online study guides, on popular student sites, which intentionally contained the wrong answers. He did this because his exams were based ...
81
votes
12answers
14k views

Why do researchers need universities?

This is a follow-up question to How are junior professors evaluated for promotion? and probably an even more naive question. If I'm understanding the answer correct, professors need funding to do ...
81
votes
7answers
20k views

Should I take threats from a former professor seriously?

Some Context: A member of my MA thesis committee, for whom I was also a GA (graduate assistant), threatened me several times while I was still in my masters program (last year). For example, she ...
80
votes
3answers
21k views

Life as a math professor

I am currently an undergraduate math major in my 3rd year (in America). I have taken lots of pure math courses, and anything I put in my resume tells potential employers I'm probably going to be an ...
72
votes
9answers
19k views

Should I challenge my professor who thinks he's always right?

One of my professors has been in the IT development fields for over 40 years. He thinks he is up-to-date with all the latest research and technology. But in reality, he's not. The problem is - he ...
71
votes
7answers
12k views

Is generic “thank you” email a waste of time in academia?

A very busy professor just responded my email. He answered my questions, and in the end, he explicitly said something like "Please let me know if you have any questions" or "Please respond if you have ...
71
votes
12answers
10k views

Why do faculty use the software “Blackboard”?

It is becoming apparent to me that, outside my field, use of Blackboard and other LMS software is becoming extremely common. Indeed, a rash of technical problems here is making it apparent students ...
68
votes
10answers
59k views

Is it appropriate to send an email to a professor at the end of the semester thanking them for their teaching?

I'm aware of very similar questions previously asked - all with good answers. These usually pertain to following up with a professor after a recommendation. My question is specifically about sending a ...
67
votes
10answers
11k views

What is the point of being the head of the department?

What is the point of being the head of the department ? I'm an undergraduate Physics & Mathematics student and I want to stay in academia, do research and also teach. I'm assuming professors also ...
67
votes
5answers
3k views

I was sexually assaulted by a professor writing me a LOR for grad-school applications. What should I do?

I’m a foreign student currently applying to extremely competitive doctoral programs in the US. Recently, one of the professors writing a letter of recommendation sexually assaulted me. I live in a ...
63
votes
7answers
29k views

My professor gave me a bad grade and wouldn't discuss it further, I think some prejudice may be involved. How should a student proceed?

Background: I was a senior at a very prestigious, high-ranking university in the US. At the time my GPA was around a 3.9 and had never had any issues with professors (and actually socialized with a ...
63
votes
5answers
11k views

Is it normal for professors to not have families or not spend time with their families over the holidays, due to pressure of work?

My sister is a professor. I was visiting her over Thanksgiving break and my father (who is also a professor) told me not to hang out with her because she had a grant proposal due. Is this normal for ...
62
votes
11answers
15k views

Is it okay if a professor friends a student on social media sites?

If a professor is teaching a student currently, is it okay if he/she friends the student on social media sites such as Facebook or Google Plus?
58
votes
7answers
14k views

Can a professor ask for money directly from students to print out handouts for class?

I'm currently taking a class that doesn't have a required textbook, which is why I took it. My professor is now saying that due to her scanning and printing out handouts for use we are each required ...
57
votes
10answers
24k views

Telling PhD supervisor I published a paper about my thesis without telling them or listing them as authors?

I am in my 3rd year of PhD. In my program, it is a requirement for PhD students to graduate with a paper that is published in a Scopus Index journal. Before I entered, and during my PhD, I had ...
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 ...
53
votes
9answers
16k views

A professor has offered to send me a hard copy of his new book. Would it be rude to ask for a PDF file instead?

While working my way through one textbook, I spotted several errors, TeXed them up and emailed to the author of the textbook. He thanked me and asked for my physical address so he could send me a copy ...
52
votes
11answers
19k views

Why would a professor (say in pure math) want to take PhD students?

Why would a professor doing pure math/ theoretical computer science want to take PhD students? I understand that in computational and experimental sciences taking students is at least beneficial to ...
52
votes
4answers
4k views

What lessons have you learned over the years as a TENURED FULL Professor that you wish somebody had told you when you started as an Assistant Prof?

As a Tenured Full Professor and given your long experience in Academia, what valuable lessons have you learned over the years that you wish somebody had shared with you earlier when you started as an ...
52
votes
5answers
15k views

Are relationships allowed between students and faculty?

What sorts of restrictions do universities place on romantic or sexual relationships between faculty and graduate students, and what are the underlying issues that motivate these restrictions? For ...
52
votes
4answers
25k views

How to contact professors for PhD vacancies?

I know many master's students who get an opportunity to talk to their potential PhD advisors well before applying. In most cases this opportunity is available by the professors with whom they worked ...
51
votes
7answers
16k views

Is talking to a professor about personal issues acceptable?

I've been struggling a lot recently with stuff thats been going on, I'm in therapy and receiving help but I'm still having a really hard time. I have a professor who's always asking if I'm doing okay ...
51
votes
3answers
7k views

What should be done about a professor who treats foreign students worse than domestic students?

My school and my department has a lot of undergraduate students from China. When I took this instructor's class, he routinely pressured the foreign students to answer questions about their home ...
50
votes
2answers
13k views

I'm scheduled to graduate next week but my professor has gone MIA due to a death in the family… what can I do?

Next week I'm scheduled to graduate from a major university. One of the required courses that I've taken over the past semester is an independent research study with a single professor. Throughout ...
49
votes
6answers
9k views

What kind of career path might be possible for a professor following a plagiarism scandal?

Prior to transferring to another university, I attended a college in a different state with a renown reputation for integrity and academic rigor. The year before I left, I enrolled in a course that ...
49
votes
7answers
8k views

Do universities hire graduates from lesser universities

Recently, someone analyzed computer science professors at top universities and found that over half of the professors at the top 51 universities graduated from a top 10 university. Others have also ...
49
votes
5answers
7k views

What's the purpose of writing one's academic biography in the third person?

I see some academics – both professors and grad students – write their biography on their university webpages in the third person, and it sounds really weird. What's the purpose of writing about ...
48
votes
10answers
141k views

After my PhD how much salary should I expect as a professor of computer science?

It's easy for me to find out salaries for tech-jobs but it seems Professor salaries are quite hush-hush. I really love to teach and would be more than willing to join academia. However, I may choose ...
48
votes
7answers
6k views

What's the point of maintaining a CV after tenure?

Once you have tenure, presumably you're never going to have to search for a job again. However almost all professors have a CV on their website, and fairly recent ones. Why? They already made it.
48
votes
5answers
21k views

What ratio of PhD graduates in STEM fields ultimately end up as (tenured) professors?

I recently saw this infogram circling around various social networks: It appeared in this Tweet with the following claim: Got a PhD? Your chance of becoming a Professor is 0.45%. Good luck. Being ...
47
votes
12answers
20k views

Why wouldn't a professor allow a student to record audio of his lecture?

I am a master’s student in a public university in the state of New York. I do not consider myself to be disabled in any form but I do find it difficult to concentrate in class. I lose focus too often ...
47
votes
5answers
16k views

Friendship with Professor okay?

My professor and I walk to and from for every class I have with her, I am a female senior student and my professor is in her 30's. I've gotten to know her really well, we even had a random dinner ...
47
votes
5answers
4k views

Can one excel in graduate school with a demanding family life?

The essential gist of my question relates to what the real, unvarnished realities are of graduate, post-graduate, research, fellowship, and professorship attainment - when you aren't a single person ...
46
votes
9answers
12k views

What should I do as a TA if the instructor is not teaching properly?

Some background: I’m a TA for a low-level course at a major university on the US east coast. This is my second time TAing this course: the first time, I did it under a professor who has taught this a ...
46
votes
9answers
7k views

How to comfortably interact with famous professors?

I know that they are "just as human as we are", but I feel somewhat uncomfortable to talk nonchalantly with the top-notch math researchers and professors in my department because of their social ...
45
votes
8answers
20k views

What does this professor mean by saying “I do not have time to respond”

I am an undergraduate in CS and engineering. Approximately a week ago, I sent an email to a professor whose research really interests me. I sent him couple of my questions and confusions rooted from ...