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Questions tagged [theory]

Questions relating to theory in an academic context.

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7 votes
5 answers
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What do I do about a professor that demands I publish a nonsense proof?

tl;dr: Skip the first two paragraphs. I'm a student working in theoretical computer science. I recently did some research where I came up with most of the ideas, but would regularly receive feedback ...
Fricis's user avatar
  • 87
-5 votes
2 answers
234 views

Working in HEP TH with a background primarily in HEP PH [duplicate]

I've just started a PhD in QCD phenomenology and Quarkonia. While I'm quite happy with the work at the moment, I suppose I do have a romanticised view of working in theory. How feasible is it for me ...
Allohn's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
146 views

can one hypothesis be derived from another hypothesis?

I have a theory and hypothesis indicating that X leads to Y. The analysis proves this wrong, I want to say that it is possible to reformulate theory and hypothesis and show that Y leads to X. Can I ...
Rustam's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
64 views

What constitutes a competitive masters application for a profile geared towards Theoretical CS?

I find that there are too few accounts of what constitutes a good TCS profile. I am a math and CS undergrad currently going into my 4th year, and hence am posting here. I am (currently) very ...
thewizardofmath's user avatar
30 votes
7 answers
8k views

As an outsider, how do I get academics to discuss my idea with me? [duplicate]

I got a physics degree nearly 30 years ago. My goal was to understand general relativity and quantum field theory, but at graduation I still could not understand them. I then embarked on a career as a ...
aepryus's user avatar
  • 443
2 votes
2 answers
791 views

How do you get to research about theoretical high energy physics as an undergraduate?

I am an junior undergraduate in the U.S, and Interested in HEP "Theoretical High Energy" in Physics. I have had some exposure in research (i.e. Quantum Field Theory, General Relativity), ...
gshxd's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
1 answer
978 views

Double Majoring in CS and Math for a PhD in Theoretical Computer Science?

I'm a undergrad in CS and Math. My plan for college and beyond is to double major in Computer Science and Math, go to industry for a couple years then get a masters in Comp/Electrical engineering. ...
wonderinghuh's user avatar
30 votes
12 answers
12k views

Can someone who did mostly theory in academia survive in the tech industry?

I am currently seeking a career outside of academia (STEM) and every "entry-level" career in my field seems to demand familiarity with dozens of technologies. For example, here is a data ...
Norman's user avatar
  • 1,423
3 votes
2 answers
778 views

Is it possible to apply for a PhD in experimental Physics if your master's thesis was in the theoretical aspect?

I have been involved with the Quantum Optics group in my institution. I have a lot of interest in Circuit-QED and thus is (broadly) the topic for my Master's thesis. Now, I have always been inclined ...
Rahul Devarakonda's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
77 views

Would a LaTeX glossary contain program function/method purposes/definitions?

I'm writing my dissertation/thesis and it revolves around a program I have made. The program is a Rubik's cube solver that uses pre-existing solving methods, so nothing that exciting. I'm writing out ...
curiousCoder's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
151 views

Should I find Theories during the Literature Review? [closed]

Currently, I am working on my Master Thesis. Before whenever we had to write reports, we had a section called "Literature Review" and a separate section called "Theories". ...
dontdownvoteme's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
148 views

Do referees and search committee generally value a fully self-written proof over a short proof citing many other theorems?

Suppose that a researcher is trying to solve an important hypothesis within an economic model. He has two options to put his efforts: He can start with the assumptions that he is most comfortable ...
High GPA's user avatar
  • 4,472
2 votes
2 answers
268 views

Where to submit an incomplete work just for the sake of record

I am an undergraduate student. One day an idea popped up in my mind about some theory. I started working on that and then I have to stop due to my very limited knowledge. I shared my incomplete work ...
Singh's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
1 answer
333 views

Improving motivation in qualitative research motivation [closed]

My PhD project has evolved into a very qualitative methodology and approach. As my training and background is very positivist and focused on outcomes, I am really struggling with this shift into a ...
Poidah's user avatar
  • 3,383
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Practical aspects -- how to change subfields between PhD and postdoc?

For the context of the question, I'm interested in switching between different areas of a field -- e.g. I did my PhD in biological physics mainly involving simulations on a specific biological system, ...
The Hagen's user avatar
  • 453
0 votes
1 answer
244 views

Selecting the Theory Underpinning the Research Project [closed]

Sorry about the breadth and complexity of this question. I realise that for most people this question irrelevant as most projects or PhDs are predetermined and that theories and methodologies for each ...
Poidah's user avatar
  • 3,383
-4 votes
2 answers
223 views

Is there a rank for theories? [closed]

I have been reading about many theories, some are more solid that the others. I wonder if there is a way for non-professional to know the rank ( how trusted) this theory? Example Strings Theory, i ...
asmgx's user avatar
  • 1,887
1 vote
1 answer
80 views

Generic name for "manager" in social science theorizing [closed]

Please bear with me as I try to explain what I'm looking for; my question concerns getting help to find the right words to describe it. Also, if there's a more appropriate Stack Exchange site for a ...
Tripartio's user avatar
  • 9,407
1 vote
2 answers
181 views

Transferring PhD departments [closed]

I was wondering, I'm interested in both some aspects of pure math and some aspects of theoretical computer science. I'm currently in a PhD program in computer science at a pretty decent institution (...
James Lu's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
101 views

What guarantee the validity and relevance of "grand" social sciences' theories? [closed]

During my undergraduate years, I took a variety of courses in social sciences, and was exposed to writings by famous thinkers like Freud, Habermas, Foucault, Claude Lévi-Strauss, as well as lesser-...
ensbana's user avatar
  • 139
1 vote
0 answers
236 views

Where do new ideas come from in research? [duplicate]

I am a PhD student working in computational theory which includes some amount of mathematics. I am currently in the middle stage. I have read a few research papers and have been working on some ...
abaa's user avatar
  • 1,351
5 votes
1 answer
181 views

Is it normal as a researcher publishing a new theory or model to keep having uncertainties and self doubt?

Even if your theory or model has been proven by experimentation and accepted for publication... is it normal to still doubt oneself and have uncertainty in their proposed theory/model? Or does this ...
Rain's user avatar
  • 483
0 votes
1 answer
103 views

Switching theoretical base for Ph.D. studies [closed]

I have a Master's Degree in a Humanities/Social Sciences discipline. I'm interested in pursuing a Ph.D. studies within this discipline. My Master's thesis had a Posthumanist theoretical base. Would ...
phronesismimesis's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
629 views

Why am I taught theory that I have no idea how to apply in practice?

I am a third year Computer Science student. The question that I reach out to you with is featured in the title. There are some lectures that make me ask such questions. For the sake of this discussion ...
gourmej's user avatar
  • 67
23 votes
5 answers
3k views

Obstacles to collaborative research between experimentalists, theorists, and computational researchers

As an undergrad, I'm just starting to get a feel for the academic world. Obviously, the ability to communicate well in a collaborative relationship is extremely important. As a fledgling STEM ...
User2341's user avatar
  • 590
-3 votes
2 answers
313 views

Is it true that STEM professors must be theorists in order to win the big prizes?

So I have heard that professors doing applied work in math research have like no chance to win the big prizes in their fields, and that only the theorists win the big math prizes. Is this true? You ...
Navier-Stokes's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
127 views

Research on Biological Networks [closed]

I have a background in Physics and am currently pursuing a research career in experimental Biophysics. I've spent over a year on my project and am struggling terribly. I'm considering switching to ...
Severus's user avatar
  • 531
0 votes
1 answer
174 views

When do you consider the writing of a theoretical framework to be complete?

As I am writing the proposal for my thesis, I am finding a lot of works to include in my theoretical framework with some items that take the spotlight because they are tied into my methodology. I'm ...
curious's user avatar
  • 1,020
5 votes
0 answers
321 views

Have traditionally pure math departments gotten more 'applied' with the boom in Data Science? [closed]

Specifically, I am thinking of top pure math departments in the U.S., e.g., Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Yale, UCLA, Berkeley, etc. I know that many of these top places now have entirely separate ...
user74230's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
268 views

How often do academic researchers use inferior tools for their research, when clearly better tools exist but are too difficult to use? [closed]

One example that I recently learned of is the use of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) vs. delay equations in mathematical modeling. ODEs are apparently "memoryless" - like how Markov chains are ...
User001's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
534 views

How to start doing "more theoretical" research? [closed]

I guess, this question might be not only of my personal interest: I'm a first year PhD CS student, during my BSc and MSc, all research projects I did were purely practical - we hypothesize that ...
MInner's user avatar
  • 251
3 votes
1 answer
666 views

Can I do experimental research after doing a computational PhD in Chemical Engineering?

I am a graduate student in Chemical Engineering at a good research university in the USA. I came for the master's program and started working with a professor from day one. It has been a year, I like ...
rv1234's user avatar
  • 163
4 votes
1 answer
413 views

How do I know if I am fit to do a PhD in my area of interest, specifically, theoretical CS, when my background was mostly applied EE?

I have a Master's degree from a good (top-15) school in Signal Processing and my Master's research involved mainly helping out PhD students in very applied projects. The idea of the project was nice (...
user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
851 views

Is it better to focus on relearning mathematics fundamentals or learn material as needed to understand research papers?

I am working toward a PhD degree and my major involves lot of mathematics. The problem is that my basis of math is not very strong but after putting a lot of time I can understand the theorems, lemmas,...
Frank Moses's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
160 views

Sources to understand dissertation process, methods?

I am a first-year psychology doctoral student (PsyD) and am forming my dissertation topic. I am having trouble finding a really good book or article that outlines the guts of what makes a good ...
patrickkidd's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
175 views

How much theory should be given in article? [closed]

I have created a software and the assisting methodology for its application to some kinetic studies. I used a lot of theory. E.g., I used kinetic model, reactor model, data analysis (about 7 methods ...
John_West's user avatar
  • 121
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is a strategy to do theoretical research?

Thanks to some great SE answers on a previous question I posted, I realized that even though I don't have an RA at the moment (I am a first year PhD student), I must start my research ASAP. I am ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
135 views

How would someone transition from the business sector to academic research?

I am a junior undergraduate at an accredited college in the United States majoring in a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program. Currently, I work at a for-profit business to gain some ...
JMK's user avatar
  • 23
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

If I am interested in specializing in theory of computation, should I be looking for a PhD program in CS or math?

I took a Theory of Computation class years ago through my university's math department that I really enjoyed and found interesting. If I wanted to further pursue study/research/specialization with ...
John Tompson's user avatar
30 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is it common for research disciplines to have a large gap between theory and practice?

TL;DR: Is it normal that the theory sub-community and the applied sub-community of a single research field to have different goals and different standards for peer review - to the extent that the ...
kfx's user avatar
  • 1,027
213 votes
22 answers
39k views

What to do when your student is convinced that he will be the next Einstein?

As an adviser, I have found it to be a detrimental motive for a student to focus solely on surpassing Einstein in achievement, for many reasons. One student in particular has busied himself with the ...
Advisor6's user avatar
  • 1,777
2 votes
1 answer
225 views

What recent research looks at how scientific theories are established?

I'm interested in quantitative understanding of where new scientific theories come from, and the process by which they grow/develop/become established. This is intended as mainly a sociological/...
Alex I's user avatar
  • 519
0 votes
1 answer
215 views

How to approach research on an unproven theory for academic submission?

I'd like to look more into the Fermi Paradox for research purposes and possibly submit it as an academic paper. The Fermi Paradox is a theory proposed by a scientist that has some very interesting ...
Memj's user avatar
  • 2,528
5 votes
1 answer
270 views

How to add mathematical rigor to systems research?

My research focuses on wireless networking and designing various protocols. I primarily build systems. I, sometimes, analyze the performance of those systems, using techniques from probability, ...
sinoTrinity's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
301 views

How many people does it take to establish a theory? [closed]

There are often theories published by scientists in both the hard sciences and social sciences based on new understanding of fundamental science and better data collecting mechanisms that runs in ...
Fraïssé's user avatar
  • 11.5k
1 vote
1 answer
258 views

How do theorists obtain summer funding after the beginning of February?

My adviser just informed me that summer funding for theoretical research in his department is unavailable for the coming summer. I trying to brainstorm many different ways to obtain summer funding. ...
linuxfreebird's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can I come up with a new theory in the course of my PhD research? [closed]

I have reviewed the theoretical trajectory of my research topic and I see gaps that I would like to fill with my own proposed theory. Is it too early in my career to put forward a theory? I am just a ...
Mohammed Abdullahi's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
323 views

If my research is applying methods from field X to field Y, should I do my PhD in field X or field Y?

Let's say I'm a PhD student in a field, let's call it X, and my research is all based on taking the methods developed in field X and applying them to some other fields, let's call them Y, Z, and W. ...
rhombidodecahedron's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
516 views

Is patenting based on theoretical findings possible?

Imagine one, as part of their academic research, makes a theoretical finding of a new material with interesting properties based on a computer simulation. The method used in the simulation is sound ...
Miguel's user avatar
  • 7,897
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

How should I express theorems without a proof in a research paper?

What do you do when you have a conjecture, and you run experiments that confirm your conjecture, but you are unable to provide a formal proof (perhaps because it's too complicated)? Do you name them ...
NeoN's user avatar
  • 947