Questions tagged [undergraduate]

On providing academic services (such as teaching, advising, and research mentorship) specifically to undergraduates. Questions about undergraduate-specific issues that could not apply to graduate or post-graduate academicians are off-topic here and will be closed and deleted. Questions about coursework, etiquette, and other academic issues that apply to both undergraduate and post-graduate students should not be tagged [undergraduate].

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211
votes
21answers
21k views

Failing students when it might cause them economic ruin

The issue has crept up on me slowly over the last several years. I am increasingly aware of the massive debt that many of my students are taking on, debt which is far beyond the sort of debt that I ...
150
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14answers
21k views

Teaching a class likely meant to inflate the GPA of student athletes

Premise My department recently finalized the faculty teaching assignments for the Fall 2019 semester (starts at the end of August 2019). As these assignments were being discussed a few weeks ago, my ...
147
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12answers
40k views

Our teacher is encouraging us to use cracked software

I'm taking a course named Numerical and Computational Methods Based on Mathematica (Or in Chinese: "基于Mathematica的数值计算方法"), but Wolfram Mathematica is a bit expensive for me to afford. On the first ...
140
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14answers
21k views

Should I intervene when a colleague in a different department makes students run laps as part of their grade?

Basic Premise Can a microbiology professor require students to run laps on the track during class for a grade, even if the class usually has no physical component to it? Background As part of my ...
108
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13answers
42k views

How to deal with arrogant e-mail of a student

I have sent the solutions of some assignments to the students of my class. One of my students sent me a message that reads as follows (not greeting or anything, no closing, just the following): ...
103
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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 ...
74
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12answers
17k views

Should professors pay undergraduate students doing research in their labs?

I have some undergraduate students doing research in my lab, and I pay them by the hours. I've observed that the students usually do what I tell them and don't go beyond that (as we usually expect ...
74
votes
8answers
13k views

How to explain a bad grade to a delusional student?

I guess this comes up quite often in educational context. There is a student who attended a seminar where they were supposed to study an assigned research paper and deliver a presentation to the class....
70
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13answers
25k views

Our instructor threw together freely available YouTube videos and Wikipedia articles instead of lectures. What should I do?

I'm currently attending university online (at a notable public institution, not a crappy school—I feel compelled to mention this because one typically expects quality from good institutions). ...
67
votes
13answers
6k views

Why do undergraduate admissions in the U.S take into account nonacademic criteria?

College admissions in the U.S. takes into account many factors that are rarely considered in other countries and seem unrelated to academics. For example, legacy status (children of alumni may be ...
64
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17answers
17k views

In case of in-lecture quizzes, is it unreasonable to fail students who are late or absent?

I am teaching a large undergraduate class this semester. One day a week (same day every week) we have a quiz. The syllabus doesn't specify at what moment of the class period the quiz will be given. It ...
62
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6answers
14k views

How can I tell my advisor that I'm not going to work for free?

I am an undergraduate student of Physics in Spain. This year I have to prepare my bachelor thesis and I also applied for a fellowship with the same advisor to do further research on the same topic. I ...
61
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18answers
18k views

How to respond to a professor who was insulted by an email detailing mistakes in the exercise? [closed]

I am an undergraduate student. Preparing the solution to an exercise regarding computer assembly language programming I discovered an error in the program skeleton that was given to us to base our ...
61
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9answers
19k views

Is it immoral to show new students how to use Wolfram Alpha?

Currently, I'm working as an assistant at the mathematics department of my university. My job consists of sitting for 20 hours a week in an office to which students come with doubts regarding all the ...
56
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13answers
14k views

Does academia have a lazy work culture?

I'm a rising sophomore at a top US university, and I've become really fascinated with the world of academia over the past year -- so much so that I'm considering doing a PhD after I graduate and ...
51
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13answers
14k views

What can I do about undergraduate students cheating?

So I lecture at a university on the department of mathematics and statistics, and this year I am teaching calculus for future mathematicians. One good thing about the mathematics course is that very ...
51
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16answers
9k views

Why would a student go to a lecture at all if everything was in the book already? [duplicate]

Why would a student go to a lecture at all if everything was in the book already? The lectures make sense if and only if the lecturer tells more than in the book(s) and in more detail (or at least,...
49
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5answers
4k views

Is it unethical to accept extra time on exams when I still do well?

I have ADHD (real, diagnosed ADHD, not just "I-say-I-have-ADHD-because-it's-trendy" ADHD). I have never taken the extended time exams that are offered for ADHD students, because I have never needed to,...
49
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8answers
6k views

Is it ethical for a lecturer to require students to purchase an online learning kit where kit is used for course assessments?

I am taking a course in a may-not-be-top-but-still-decent university located in North America. The course lecturer forces us to pay for an online learning kit from Pearson by adopting all the graded ...
48
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12answers
19k views

What do universities usually do with a student's graded final exams?

Personally I do not recall ever having seen any of my final exams I have taken during my undergrad (except in my nightmares). Midterms, quizzes and homeworks are usually returned to the students ...
46
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6answers
6k views

Submitting to a journal as an undergrad but lying about academic status on bio

As an undergraduate I submitted a paper of mine to a reputable journal. Fearing that I would be desk-rejected for simply being an undergraduate, I stated in my submission bio that I was a PhD ...
45
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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 ...
45
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3answers
9k views

OK to ask a professor at my institution with whom I have no previous relationship some questions relating to hobby-project?

I go to community college so our professors aren't busy with lab research. They're still busy people though and I wish to respect that. I'm pretty much just working through some neuroscience ...
44
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12answers
2k views

Should I stay in school?

I am most of the way through my freshman year at Washington State University, pursuing a BS in Computer Science. Going away to school has been rough, and I have been pretty depressed for most of the ...
43
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18answers
14k views

Should students have access to past exams or an exam bank?

Something I never understood is how in so many undergrad classes North America, the students are allowed to have past exams that they are allowed to study over. It never made sense to me because it ...
43
votes
11answers
7k views

Should I answer students' questions immediately or teach them to ask better questions?

I'm teaching an online lab (to accompany an in-person course) to undergrads in their 3rd or 4th year of an engineering curriculum this semester. The aim of the lab is not to teach them any particular ...
41
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7answers
17k views

I violated academic integrity unknowingly by sharing assignment resources with fellow student. What should I do?

So, before I tell my story, I'll qualify by saying I have a bit of a guilt complex and its possible I'm overthinking all of this. I was looking through my university's honor code and I came upon "...
41
votes
15answers
26k views

Professor gave me a higher grade than I deserved. What should I do?

During one of my undergraduate semesters I was pretty depressed (for various personal reasons) and was struggling with completing my coursework. One class in particular didn't have a final exam, there ...
41
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2answers
7k views

Can a UK University prevent you from graduating due to an outstanding library fine?

I study in the UK. I just received an email from the academic registrar of my university regarding my forthcoming graduation ceremony. Contained within the email was this disclaimer: Please ensure ...
41
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5answers
5k views

What to do when other professors place unfair demands on my students?

A recent question asked how students should deal with professors who "think their class is extra special". Putting aside the question of how good students are at judging what an appropriate workload ...
40
votes
3answers
12k views

My professor presented a problem that I solved. He says I can send it to a conference. What is the etiquette in cases like this?

But I don't understand if it is ethical because he was the one who identified the problem. I wouldn't have thought of the answer if he hadn't asked the question. I am an undergraduate and this is my ...
40
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6answers
8k views

Why didn't more people graduate with a college degree when it was “affordable”?

Adjusting for inflation, (without too much controversy, I expect), it is evident that college was more affordable in the past. See for example, this chart of Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over ...
40
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2answers
3k views

Doing all the simulations and plotting, do I deserve an authorship?

I, an electrical engineering undergraduate, am currently involved in a research project, wherein I help write all the codes, run all the simulations, and plot all the graphs. The paper is about to be ...
39
votes
11answers
11k views

Is there anything I can do about a teacher who is rumored to be unreasonably severe and whose class I am about to take?

Background Due to a change in schedule, I recently had to swap one course section (with a supposedly outstanding instructor) for another (with a different instructor). Problem Based on a number of ...
39
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18answers
8k views

How to deal with inactive students in undergraduate projects?

I am in the field of computer science, and I have noticed a trend among a group of students when dealing with undergraduate programming projects. The situation is that there are some students that ...
39
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I express “I can't find any papers written about this”?

I'm an undergraduate writing a paper for a philosophy course in logic. My paper is exploring a relationship between Leibniz' logic and graph theory. In writing the paper, I've found some material in ...
39
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1answer
2k views

How familiar should you be with a topic before assigning it as a thesis to an undergraduate?

I am a postdoctoral researcher in a university where undergraduates have to undertake a diploma thesis in order to finish their studies. My professor says we should put in our lab page some short ...
38
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9answers
10k views

How to “know” if I have a passion? [on hold]

Most students encounter a life-changing decision during their undergraduate years. That is either to choose a high-paying career, yet such that they might not be passionate about or a career they like ...
37
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9answers
55k views

Is being an honors student really worth it?

This is a something I'm really concerned about. I am an undergraduate physics major, and I've been in the honors program at my university for a little while now, and that means certain things. I must ...
36
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12answers
15k views

I hate taking lectures, can I still survive in academia?

I'm 3rd Physics & Mathematics student, and I almost hate taking and attending lectures; it is not because what is taught, I just don't like sitting in uncomfortable chairs with a lot of people ...
36
votes
6answers
8k views

Department member forwarded complaint about professor to that professor

I am an undergraduate at a US college. I wanted to take a course in a specific area of my major so that I could do better research during the summer. I do not have the prerequisite courses but I have ...
35
votes
12answers
8k views

My undergraduate research advisor pressures me to work more hours than I want to, but I don't want to risk ruining the relationship. How to proceed?

I am burned out and exhausted and need a place to rant and get advice. =( I am an undergraduate student majoring in Information Systems who was hired a few months ago to work in a Human-Computer ...
35
votes
8answers
4k views

Undergraduate not doing homework (case method)

I've recently started teaching undergraduate students using the case method (management subjects). However, I'm finding that most of the students simply don't do the reading at home. Even though I (so ...
34
votes
10answers
17k views

Does two lines of copied code constitute plagiarism?

I copied (and failed to cite) two lines of code from the OpenJDK source for an undergraduate Data Structures project. Yet, the code comparison shows an alarming amount (40%) of similarity. Here is the ...
34
votes
14answers
10k views

What is the appropriate response to students who peek at the exam questions before the exam starts?

I have been an invigilator for several exams for large classes. I am not formally affiliated with the classes. One thing I routinely notice is that, despite warnings, there will always be some ...
33
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8answers
13k views

Does the International Math Olympiad help research mathematics?

I was reading a note of Hojoo Lee on inequality which is written for International Math Olympiad (IMO) participants. Although he writes that “target readers are challenging high schools students and ...
33
votes
14answers
18k views

Is it rude to send my professor a link with teaching advice?

I know the title sounds terrible, but it's not as bad as it sounds so please hear me out. I am an undergraduate and have set up an independent study for this fall about topic X. The professor doesn't ...
33
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I tell my advisor about mental health problems?

I'm an undergraduate student (20f). I have 2 academic advisors - one in the Honors College & one in my department. I met with the Honors advisor recently to discuss study abroad and we somehow got ...
32
votes
8answers
12k views

What is the reason that once a student has passed a university course, the student cannot take the course again?

This question geared towards STEM but can definitely be expanded for courses in the arts as well. Imagine the following scenarios: A student has taken a course, but passed the course with barely a ...
32
votes
5answers
6k views

Undergrad students grading other undergrads: ethical, professional, or even legal?

As an undergraduate, I've been working as a TA in an electronics lab for a while. Recently I have been asked to grade other students' lab reports. I have also done some oral examination, but I guess ...