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Questions tagged [social-skills]

Questions about professional etiquette, appropriate interpersonal behavior, or social graces/norms

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15 votes
16 answers
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How do you respond to people who say pure mathematics has less value than applied mathematics because "it doesn't have any practical application"?

I'm a Math PhD student in pure math. Many times I have encountered people who just doesn't value pure math or does not see the beauty of pure math. Most of the time these are those people who haven't ...
It'sMe's user avatar
  • 2,380
0 votes
1 answer
179 views

What if letters of reference is not strong enough for PhD schools, in spite of having achieved top-graded master thesis?

I am having a problem that is beyond my control and I do not know how to address: having enough strong letters of reference to support my PhD candidature. Situation I have pursued a MSc later in my ...
user305883's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
5k views

What are my options post PHD as a blissfully ignorant, neurodivergent candidate about to graduate with few marketable skills?

I entered academia despite my suboptimal "stats" (GPA, research experience, etc.) because I was allured by the idea of focusing on a research project. Even my Master's advisor noted how I ...
zzmondo1's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
6k views

Struggling with publishing as an unsocial person

I struggle with people, communication, and trust. I managed to publish a few papers as a PhD student (with the guidance of my PhD advisor, obviously), but since then I've failed to publish a single ...
Wannabe_Sheldon's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
6k views

What does it mean when I am told "your field might be related to my field"?

In various conversations with my mathematical colleagues, I noticed that the expression "your field might be related to my field" should not always be understood literally. Namely the other ...
MKO's user avatar
  • 545
2 votes
1 answer
830 views

Acknowledgments in peer-reviewed journal publications

I have a submitted a paper to a peer-reviewed top journal. It is in the second review round and as far as it seems, it will be accepted. I am considering to write an "acknowledgments" ...
Make42's user avatar
  • 1,001
15 votes
8 answers
9k views

When do I switch from "Dear Dr. X" to "Dear Firstname" when exchanging emails with a professor that I never seen before?

I've heard that after the first email, I need to switch from Dear Dr. X to Dear Firstname. I've also heard that "Dear Firstname" is only for the professor that I actually met in person. The &...
High GPA's user avatar
  • 4,472
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's the social meaning of "He was a student of..."? [closed]

I hear this phrase time and time again, mostly from very senior professors: "Do you know the new book by [person]." "Yes. He was a student of [famous guy]". Before anyone asks, ...
Ambicion's user avatar
  • 5,569
2 votes
2 answers
261 views

Is it necessary to have all skills asked in advertisement to get a post doc?

Is it necessary to have all skills asked in advertisement to get a post doc.? I have very ordinary PhD and due to COVID I spent very little time in lab , although I leant some techniques bit I can’t ...
Ashraf Ali's user avatar
18 votes
8 answers
6k views

Dealing with a micromanaging instructor, as a teaching assistant

I'm a teaching assistant at a US university for a calculus class. My major duties are to write worksheets and then grade them along with the homework. I have been a TA long enough (5 years now) to ...
user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
259 views

How to ask friends for help?

I have some contacts on a social networking site who are much more knowledgeable than me. Some are PhDs/professors and some work in big tech companies (Google, Facebook, etc.). Every now and then, I ...
Lzn's user avatar
  • 281
16 votes
7 answers
8k views

Is it weird to display ads on an academic website?

I have never seen (or realized) an example of an academic website which displays ads. I am thinking of a website not hosted by the institute, but as a personal website, paid by the faculty member. ...
padawan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
57 votes
15 answers
10k views

Do I have to include my pronouns in a course outline?

I am a TA in a US school and my professor told me to include my pronouns in the course outline. I personally would rather not for social and religious reasons. Her argument was that I will confuse ...
poman 's user avatar
  • 617
0 votes
1 answer
314 views

Interacting with Non-academics: How to Not Compromise One's Rigor? [closed]

This is a question about interacting with other people (in particular, non-academics). Hopefully, this is a common-enough problem that it is appropriate for this community. I consider myself an (...
user676464327's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
524 views

Should one disclose "red flags" when contacting a potential supervisor?

If one has a "red flag" in their history (in terms of non-academic issues), is it best to disclose it to a potential supervisor? This can apply to any type of situation (a conflict with a ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
151 views

How are scientists trained on the *business* side of running a lab?

I've noticed lots of folks in the sciences seem to have well-developed business skills needed to run a lab, like managing a budget, hiring employees, building a team, setting deadlines and managing ...
user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
651 views

How can I tactfully decline my supervisor's suggestion and set boundaries?

New here. So I just started my postdoc about a month ago (great time to start a postdoc during a pandemic I know). Learning the ropes and trying to kinda set my own path in the lab has been ...
Yvonne C.'s user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
409 views

What social skills should I practice to make a successful doctoral application?

I've been applying to doctoral positions in mathematics with a strong background. BSc and MSc in math, and a MSc in computational math/engineering. I've got research experience in my field and ...
Seal's user avatar
  • 171
48 votes
9 answers
11k views

Do you keep your study notes publicly available?

I am considering to create a wiki/blog for most of my study notes that I have made or taken digitally. Also, for the handwritten and rough ones I am thinking about storing them in my GitHub ...
Arjo's user avatar
  • 603
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can I tell if I'm making enough progress when working remotely?

I am starting a PhD abroad, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic I cannot leave my country at the moment. My advisor has agreed that I can work remotely (starting later is not an option). While we can ...
user145563's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is an acknowledgement worth putting in a CV?

Of course, the bread-and-butter of an academic CV are degrees and publications, and citation index is a primary means of judging the value of said publications, but it's also common for academics to ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
36 votes
5 answers
7k views

How to publish superseding results without creating enemies

While working on a research paper with a coauthor, I found an unpublished paper in arXiv and discovered out that the technique we developed in our paper can be used to improve a result in the ...
Erel Segal-Halevi's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
537 views

Unpleasant situation with a collaborator made worse by supervisor. Am I overreacting?

I've been involved in a collaboration project for the past year or so (the collaborator was the one who approached me and they were leading the project), the problem is that the progress from the ...
J.Doe's user avatar
  • 481
45 votes
5 answers
16k views

Is it acceptable to use working hours to read general interest books?

Every year are published around a dozen of books directly related to my research. By directly I mean on the same topics of my research, normally by authors I am familiar with, and potential reference ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 2,290
65 votes
7 answers
20k views

I'm a professor being mistaken for a grad student, how to handle this?

This question is the flip side of Mistook new faculty member to be a student, how big a faux pas is it? I'm an associate professor, and apparently I look young for my age. When I meet new people at ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
14 votes
8 answers
7k views

Is being socially reclusive okay for a graduate student? [closed]

I am Ph.D student in computer science and mathematics. I have published a few research papers and working on some papers. I am an after mid-stage student and I spend almost 90 percent of my time in my ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
660 views

Would it be weird to cold email former students of a prospective advisor?

I was accepted to a PhD program, and the two professors I mentioned in my application have reached out to me to discuss research. Now I am wondering what is the best way to gather information on them. ...
intern_xyz123's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
440 views

Interpersonal skills, lab dynamics, and personality

What happens to grad students who are disliked by all other grad students in their labs? For background on the situation: I started my phd recently, and I'm in a lab with three other grad students, ...
graddino's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to politely encourage academic integrity in non-academics?

To give context for the question I have volunteered to do some work for a local charity. The work they do is literally lifesaving and almost certainly something the government should be responsible ...
user17415's user avatar
  • 151
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Asking faculty up for tenure about the tenure decision

If I know a faculty member is up for tenure this year, is it appropriate to ask them for news about the tenure decision? If yes, are there norms around how to ask? I'm a grad student and still ...
Dr. Beeblebrox's user avatar
64 votes
11 answers
22k views

Difficult student would dispute every grade in the course and now wants letter of recommendation

I had a student in one of my courses that for every graded assignment would come to me and challenge the grade given, even though I provided a rubric to show exactly why the points where taken off. ...
user14802's user avatar
  • 1,775
22 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Petr Naryshkin's user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
5k views

How should I respond to someone's research "elevator pitch"?

I am starting my PhD in cosmology in October of this year. I have already met some of the older PhD students and postdocs in the department where I will be studying, and I am going to be attending two ...
astronat supports the strike's user avatar
37 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can I talk about articles I'm refereeing?

For the first time, I've been asked to referee an article for a journal, and a prestigious one. I work in Maths, so the article has been online as a preprint on arXiv for some time, and it was on the ...
Turion's user avatar
  • 821
0 votes
1 answer
186 views

Advice for somebody who considers to join a PHD program in order to go to research about the possibly negative sides

A friend of mine considers to join a PhD program in order to go to science. I think she has a very idealized view of science and the prospects there. (I personally am somebody who left science after ...
Sascha's user avatar
  • 3,700
8 votes
2 answers
723 views

Co-authors either dismiss my ideas or don't understand them... and then dismiss them anyway

I'm a PhD student in computer science. I'm currently working with 2 co-authors in revising a paper for resubmission (I'm not the main author). They act very respectful and open to criticism, but they ...
user2059990's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
424 views

When is it beneficial (or politically correct?) to mention somebody's race/culture in an anecdote? [closed]

Today, I heard a friend mention an exciting conversation he had with somebody of a different race. He mentioned this woman's race several times in order to paint a more detailed picture of what his ...
jvriesem's user avatar
  • 5,119
9 votes
1 answer
681 views

Meeting like-minded people for forming collaborative research relationships [duplicate]

I'm quite new at doing full-time research as a career. It seems that everyone in my department whom I talk with is focused not only on "their" research but also on various side projects with other ...
errantlinguist's user avatar
68 votes
6 answers
15k views

Mistook new faculty member to be a student, how big a faux pas is it?

Today I was introduced in the cafeteria by a professor who I know to someone new by just their first name. Because of admissions season, I thought that the new person was a prospective grad student ...
Pushpendre's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
16k views

Is it unethical to take a photograph of my question sheets from a sit-down exam I've just finished if I am not allowed to take them home?

Last semester I've retaken a course and went through the exam. It was a sit-down exam and all students were present. All students are required put their possessions (phones, cameras, etc.) in their ...
Widi Widiyanto's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
121 views

Evidence regarding the effect of soft-skills for academic success?

I was planning on giving a talk for undergrads regarding the effect of soft skills on success in both academia and the industry. It seems well-established that soft skills (along with hard skills) are ...
Abbas Javan Jafari's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do I help minimize interruptions during group meetings as a student?

The project I work on has numerous members -- several graduate students, a couple of postdocs, and my advisor. We meet every other week to discuss progress and update one another on our status. Almost ...
tonysdg's user avatar
  • 6,052
59 votes
8 answers
11k views

If you're black, how do you answer "Oh you're a professor? So you teach African Studies?"

In a comment to How do you answer "Oh, you're a professor? What do you teach?", @JohnSmith wrote I'm black so it generally goes "Oh you're a professor? So you teach African Studies?...
aparente001's user avatar
36 votes
8 answers
6k views

What are the social norms associated with stealing free coffee? [closed]

Every morning, at the institution where I work, I attend a lecture series with on the order of 100 other students. The lecture hall is very central on campus, and large meetings are often held nearby -...
guest-201607290000's user avatar
30 votes
5 answers
7k views

Does one invite adviser / cohort / lab to one's wedding?

For a PhD student getting married in the middle of the degree, is there an established etiquette for invited your peers and/or your adviser to the wedding? Obviously, circumstances of the wedding ...
marcman's user avatar
  • 2,616
6 votes
6 answers
1k views

Can't handle the stress while being bombarded with questions during the presentation

I am a fashion designer student. I have given numerous presentations but one thing always bothers me: the level and frequency of questions by the questioners. By that I mean some folks in the class ...
user avatar
17 votes
6 answers
5k views

If a PhD student is bad in interpersonal communications, would he find trouble doing his PhD?

As far as I know, some research involves group-work. If a PhD student is either introverted, bad at interpersonal communications or both. What difficulties might they encounter?
user avatar
31 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to overcome preconceived ideas about social scientists?

I have the opposite problem to this question. Often when I talk to someone from a 'hard' scientific field I am 'taught' how statistics work or how programming works. It is a bit like being mansplained ...
Kenji's user avatar
  • 2,707
4 votes
2 answers
124 views

Socially acceptable to email a connection of a connection requesting information?

I'm interested in knowing the optimal technology/techniques to implement something (storing Lidar data in a database) in a corporate IT world. I have a colleague who recommended that I contact his old ...
Adrian773's user avatar
  • 263
120 votes
15 answers
40k 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 ...
Dnuorg Spu's user avatar
  • 5,818