Questions tagged [stem]

On standards or conventions specific to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as set of related academic disciplines, and programs that lead to a degree in these fields.

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115
votes
5answers
16k views

What is the purpose of women-only meetings, panels, conferences, etc. in academia?

Since entering graduate school, albeit in a STEM field, I have never been exposed to such an emphasis on women-only meetings, leadership conferences, panels, etc. I have seen most, if not all of these ...
57
votes
7answers
3k views

Popular proprietary program or obscure open source substitute for reproducible research?

For a long time, I had been using open source software for my work to boost "reproducible research". I believed that if I made my codes open source and the softwares to run those codes in were open ...
55
votes
8answers
9k views

Do I have an “anti-research” personality?

I am a second year Ph.D. student in a North American university who is mostly working on applied mathematics with a supervisor/advisor/PI. I have been troubled by a pattern of my own behaviour that ...
37
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5answers
5k views

Is there deliberate gender preferential treatment in hiring or admission in STEM fields?

By "gender preferential treatment" I mean: Person A is selected ahead of Person B partly because of gender. In other words, Person B would have been selected ahead of Person A had gender not been ...
34
votes
3answers
4k views

How to efficiently read mathematically and theoretically dense books in STEM fields?

When it comes to reading, there are literally thousands of methods from Speed Reading to SQ3R to Sequential(Word by Word till the end). My question is regarding reading mathematically/theoretically ...
28
votes
10answers
9k views

Classroom participation – is there a gender issue?

I recently talked with my advisor and several other professors from the same field about student–teacher interaction in class. Several of them said they had noticed that men participated in class and ...
26
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6answers
4k views

Is it a good practice for teaching assistants to sit in the lectures?

Has anyone tried this technique and how has it worked out for you? Essentially, there are several problems with doing teaching assistant work (TA), You might not even be from the institution where ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

What's a good way out when research is stuck?

Consider a mid-level PhD student in a STEM field (maybe 2-3 years into the program), he and his advisor are working on something relatively new and interesting but they have reached a point where the ...
25
votes
1answer
3k views

How common are self-funded PhDs in the STEM fields in U.S. universities?

I met a PhD student that is completely self-funded at our engineering college . Our university is notorious for being one of the most expensive schools to attend; I can't imagine someone funding his ...
23
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7answers
4k views

Is it common/ ethically acceptable for PhD advisors to propose and supervise topics on which they lack basic knowledge?

I've just graduated in STEM in a small but respected university in Europe. I had two supervisors who hold their PhD in my field. The aim of my PhD was to utilize a particular chemical compound in the ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

How to foster gender diversity as an organizer

I am part of the organizing committee for a workshop in a STEM field that historically has problems with underrepresentation of women (and other groups, but let me focus on women in this question). I ...
17
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4answers
2k views

Will there be consequences for not participating in ShutDownSTEM?

I am a tenure-track researcher in STEM fields. On June 9th, I was told that all meetings scheduled next day were cancelled so that we can be a part of #ShutDownSTEM. I was not aware of it, and I ...
17
votes
3answers
454 views

At what point do you decide to jump into research?

Before diving into "real research", there are some students who prefer to learn bare minimum prerequisite courses/material and then start off reading survey papers and develop their skills. There are ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Are problems in PhD science labs not present in math phd research?

I must say that I am shocked at the number of questions on this site that reads like the following, "my advisor has stopped funding me" "my advisor has been completely ignoring my emails" "my ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What does it mean when a STEM researcher has a lot of “solo” publications?

This is related to advisor selection for North American universities, STEM majors. I noticed some profs tend to have a lot of "solo" publications, meaning that he or she is the sole author of a ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Can it be disadvantageous to actively publish in completely different fields?

I'm a researcher in a STEM field and work at an institute where research staff salaries (including mine) are dependent entirely on third-party grant money. I've already successfully obtained research ...
13
votes
9answers
3k views

Leaving PhD program to apply for industry job - better to apply while still officially enrolled?

I am going into the fourth year of a PhD program and my research, which is in a STEM field, has clear applications in the tech industry. I have my Master's degree, but have decided not to finish the ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some good ways to lead a discussion session for a TA in a graduate-level STEM class?

I'm a TA for a class on graduate-level Digital Signal Processing, and one of my responsibilities is to lead a discussion session. It's a 50-minute session that happens once a week, and the professor ...
13
votes
2answers
817 views

What are the impacts of closing STEM departments?

To encourage new answers, I will award the bounty to any new answer. (e.g. answer and you will get the bounty) I understand this question is difficult to tackle and do appreciate all new insights. ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are women even less represented in engineering than in other STEM?

We know that women in much of the developed countries are less represented in STEM studies. However, such a statement hides the fact that women are approx. half of the students in biology, chemistry ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

At what age do professors stop taking new students?

Assuming STEM, At what age do tenured professors stop taking new students? I am a first year PhD student and have my eye on one professor who seems to be really interesting and I feel he finds me as ...
11
votes
3answers
630 views

Learning new things after coursework duration of PhD

In STEM (In USA), the coursework duration of the PhD typically lasts about 1-2 years beyond that, students take 0 (or in certain cases, very few) courses in their subsequent PhD years. I work in ...
10
votes
2answers
679 views

Do generous donations to U.S. universities influence STEM PhD admissions committees?

During the U.S. admissions process to PhD programs in the STEM fields, are the admissions committees typically notified by university administrators, if one of the applicant's family is a generous ...
10
votes
1answer
263 views

Evaluation criteria for 3-minute teaching demonstration over Skype?

I have been asked to participate in a Skype interview for an academic position in a STEM field. One focus of the institution is innovative and non-traditional teaching methods. This is the first ...
9
votes
2answers
698 views

How do theorists in STEM fields update equipment?

As a theorist my chief capital costs are software and computers (for large calculations and simulations). If starting at a new institution I would ask for these in my start up budget (about 20k USD). ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it ill-advised to make a cover for your thesis in STEM?

I handed in my undergraduate thesis in mathematics and since I had extra time due to COVID-19 lockdown, I had made a cover drawing for it that I included. I've never seen a thesis with a cover in the ...
8
votes
5answers
722 views

Good practices for skipping chapters when reading

Assuming I am reading a textbook/paper or any kind of rich material and then there is a point where I feel that the chapter I am reading is unnecessary or insignificant (I can get back to it later if ...
8
votes
2answers
430 views

Grading curves in quantitative subjects

In U.S. colleges, in quantitative fields of study like engineering and mathematics, how do instructors curve their courses? That is, how do instructors decide, in a given course, how many As to award,...
8
votes
2answers
598 views

Prospect of pro-bono/voluntary work with current advisor after graduating with PHD

As an international student in the united states, I am legally allowed to work for 12 months, extendable to 29months for STEM fields, after graduating with my PhD (or masters degree for that matter) ...
7
votes
1answer
867 views

In STEM fields, are ten-year, funded PhDs an exceptional case or more common than we think?

All of the below information is regarding U.S. universities. From what I know, it seems that the standard length of time to be funded for a PhD in a STEM field is about 5 or 6 years. (I've ...
7
votes
2answers
401 views

How significantly does the salary amount for tenured faculty impact the quality of a deparment?

I mean both the salary a department offers to new hires and to already hired faculty members. I would prefer answers specifically about math departments, but I would also be interested in answers ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Expectation of students in Graduate vs. Undergraduate STEM classes

I'm not sure if this question is okay to post here (I am only an undergrad), so please feel free to close/migrate if necessary. I won't be offended. I am an undergraduate taking an undergraduate CS ...
6
votes
1answer
14k views

Thesis: what is the difference between discussion and conclusion?

I am currently writing my bachelor thesis and I would like to have a clear definition of discussion and conclusion. Preferably including a distinction between the discussion and the conclusion part. ...
6
votes
1answer
296 views

Is there any scientific reference about position of the LGBTQ community in STEM academia?

According to the Nature article "LGBTQ scientists are still left out" there are some "heteronormative assumptions" in the STEM field which artificially suppress the number of LGBTQ people in the field....
5
votes
2answers
224 views

How should faculty implement STEM classes that require hands-on lab experience in online learning platforms given COVID-19 pandemic?

I am a STEM teaching assistant. I know some professors were using physical class materials in engineering classes. How do you think they should respond to COVID-19-forced online education and still ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

Why is there less funding or scholarship opportunity for business students compared to other background students?

If one compares the funding state between the business background students and the science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) background students in university, one will surely see much difference ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

What should I do if I hate engineering, but my parents want me to become an engineer? [closed]

I really love physics, and I told my parents about my interest. They want me to become an engineer, but I hate engineering (too practical, too far from physics), and I don't enjoy fixing things. What ...
4
votes
8answers
4k views

Why would master student spend more than the normal duration to complete master degree?

I am looking at a particular research group for graduate studies. The research group is in STEM. From talking to the professors, they have repeatedly told me that a master degree merely takes two ...
4
votes
4answers
384 views

How do I read a textbook or monograph with good comprehension?

I’m not a native English speaker but my reading ability is good. However, when it comes to academic books, I feel that my comprehension is slow. What strategies or methods can I use to help me improve ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are most people so intellectually uncurious [closed]

I'm not sure this is the right place to ask this question. I've noticed that almost everyone I have met is intellectually uncurious. In a world where our daily lives depend on technology that would ...
4
votes
2answers
209 views

Is there any age criteria in selecting new faculty in STEM universities in the USA?

I plan to start my Ph.D. quite late at age 31. I wanted to know if this would have any implications on my career if I decide to stay in academia and apply to faculty positions after completing my Ph.D....
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Incompetent Advisor [closed]

I've come to the conclusion that my advisor is incompetent (he does not have a good understanding of the fundamentals and doesn't know how to judge or generate research ideas). I mainly chose to work ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

What determines how many master/PhD students a given professor can take (STEM)?

It never really crossed my mind if there was an upper limit as to the number of students a given professor can take on. This is because some professor have dozens of students, while other have only a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Will I be accepted into another PhD program if I leave my current group in Europe in which I don't fit in?

I am now doing my Ph.D. in Europe and I think I am not a good fit for my research group. It is not possible to change to other research groups in Europe and I was planning to drop out of my program ...
2
votes
2answers
267 views

Using a viral CV/ cover letter LaTeX template for undergraduate research internships

I am planning to apply for a few undergraduate research internships and I recently learned LaTeX, so I am thinking of transferring my resume from Word to LaTeX. I came across LaTeX templates for a &...
2
votes
2answers
251 views

How to advertise the grad course that you teach?

I accepted an offer to teach a graduate course at the university, as an adjunct professor. This program has a minimum threshold for number of students signed up. In other words if not enough students ...
2
votes
1answer
862 views

What should be emphasised in a statement of purpose when applying for STEM PhD programs in the United States?

This question might be more suitable for they who are or were application reviewers of STEM ph.D. programs in U.S. universities. I want to know what kinds of s.o.p. do catch reviewers' attention? ...
2
votes
2answers
120 views

Any easy STEM research articles/papers that high school students can understand? [closed]

I'm helping to hold a workshop sort of thing to help students learn how to read/write research papers, but as I am a sophomore and haven't read too many papers myself, I can't find anything that is ...
2
votes
2answers
397 views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing a postdoc in France and UK/USA? [closed]

I am concluding my Ph.D. in the UK, and currently I have two postdoc offers one from the US and one from France. I am not a British/EU citizen and would like to take on an academic path preferably in ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Are there any recommendations from professional or academic associations on maximum class size for STEM courses?

I read here that some professional/academic organizations (Association of Departments of English, National Council of Teachers of English) have released specific recommendations regarding maximum ...