364

You don't say where you're going to school but if it's here in the US, I would report the problem to the university and demand they do whatever is necessary to fix it. Title IX requires them to provide an inclusive environment free of sexual harassment. If you are unsatisfied by their response, I would report the school to the U.S. Department of Education’...


237

The good thing (maybe the only good thing) about email is that it's by nature asynchronous. A phone call in the middle of the night is intrusive, because there is an explicit expectation that the receiver does something about the call right there and then. An email is not like that - if you send an email, it will happily sit in the inbox of the recipient ...


224

Research in math (and probably in general) is hard. It doesn't get better over time, but rather we seem to get used to the accompanying depression and angst. When I feel down, I try to remind myself that I do math because I enjoy it, not because I want to be the best at it, and for some reason people continue to pay me money to do it. If they stop, I'll ...


175

The short answer to your question is that you are vastly overestimating your, and other engineer's, ability to judge what techniques will ever have practical relevance. I think it was Michael Stonebraker, a Turing award winning computer scientist with no lack of practical impact, who said that the sweet spot for academic applied research are techniques that ...


170

If there is a local Women in Computing or Women in Science and Engineering group you may be able to get face-to-face support and advice. Failing that, I suggest joining Systers. Even if you get suggestions you find helpful here, it may be a better forum for discussion with others who have handled similar problems. I don't have direct experience because ...


159

This is usually a version of a "babysitting scam", where some generous out-of-town person wants to pay you a royal ransom for some minor errand or babysitting someone you've never met. It goes a few different ways, but it's usually some version of asking for a quote of what it might cost, and then wanting to pay you in advance. They'll usually want to pay ...


155

It looks to me like you did not do so badly as you think. Two publications and 3.7 GPA are not so bad. It might depend on the field, it might not be the best ever, but I have seen much worse. If your supervisor offered you a postdoc position after having you for 6 years as a PhD student, it means that they consider your work useful. You might be suffering ...


147

It's not entirely accurate to state that Windows 'dominates' in the commercial world. While this is generally accurate in Desktop and Laptop computers, keep in mind that the vast majority of web (and other) servers are Linux-based. Keep in mind that 100% of the TOP500, a list of the 500 most powerful computer systems in the world, are on Linux. Keep in mind ...


132

The way to "retract" old work is to publish better work that references the old work and its errors. There should be nothing embarrassing about having found earlier errors and correcting them. You have grown in the interim. Every active academic will likely have such an experience at least once in their career. The earliest work was done when you were, ...


127

Different areas of work look differently. A mechanic, a tailor or a miner perform visible physical operations and deliver an objective and measurable result by hour. Compared with them, office work may seem lazy: people sit at their desks, they are not sweating, can have toilet and drink breaks whenever they want, etc. Also, the result of their work seems ...


122

First of all, acknowledge for yourself that what you're going through is 100% not OK, and you have every right to be upset and looking for a fix ASAP. I start saying this because very often, with any sort of bullying/harassment, people will say "you're overreacting" or "wow, it's not such a big deal, come on", but in fact they are completely wrong. It's ...


111

It might be uncommon, but just ask them. You could use a basic questionaire if you want to do it anonymously, or you could talk to everyone in person. Just showing some activity does not help as long as you are having no idea about the needs and desires of your faculty members.


106

I’m not sure what to do. I am friends with some of these men (or so I thought) and have committed to working on software projects with them that I can’t back out of. What do I say? You could try something along the lines of: "You do know that a remark like that would probably get you fired in the workplace, right?" Hopefully that would turn the tone of ...


104

There are three basic approaches to handling this: Paul Erdos' approach. Pros: it worked for Erdos, after a fashion. Cons: you are not Erdos. Crack, maybe have a psychotic episode, and leave academia. Pros: it's the easiest course, and the one you're on now. Cons: everything else about it. Recognize that your career is not a sprint, but a marathon, and ...


102

I wouldn't say I'm a 'top' professor - hopefully someday, heh - but here's my take on it. I couldn't care less how 'smart' my students are or aren't. It's tough to quantify, and different people have different strengths, and it's easy to mistake knowledge/experience for intelligence. At any rate I feel that my job is the opposite of competing with my ...


100

Many other careers are not structured around "success" and "failure" in the same way that academia is, and the jobs that are are acknowledged to be high stress. I agree strongly with what Anyon mentions about the pyramid structure of academia, as well as survivorship bias. Jack Aidley also nicely captures the difference that "In most careers you do not 'fail'...


100

Do not fall into the trap of assuming that "Value of work done" is proportional to "Hours spent at a desk". Some HR departments do think this way, but it's rarely true.


95

Basically because schooling is the inverse of farming. That is: Historically farming and feeding the family (and community) took precedence over all other considerations. This is primarily a job that takes place through the spring, summer, and fall -- with little or no activity possible in the winter. Therefore in most cultures the original calendar year ...


95

Yes, it's perfectly fine to do so. To maximise the chances of a response, make sure your email is clear, concise and polite.


94

That advice from the blog says to avoid an advisor who 1. Is nice, and friendly, and available. And never gives you the fierce criticism and the tough pushback that forces you to confront your weaknesses, take risks, stop whining, cut the excuses, get over your fears, and make hard decisions about reputation, money, and jobs. It's the part ...


88

I am interested in retracting my old journal articles. Would it have any negative effects on my academic career? Yes, it would have severe negative effects. Don't do this. Retraction is intended for two main types of situations: The paper contains serious errors that completely invalidate its conclusions and can't be fixed just by publishing a correction....


87

I think you should be worried that you and your colleagues might have to go without pizza the rest of the semester if you've already (unknowingly) burned through the budget, and not much else. You could also worry that in the future you'll have to go through a more formal approval process, which will probably loosen once whoever is involved in the approval ...


84

(Original answer March 2015) I guess it's time to answer my own question. Not long after posting the original question I began living exclusively as a woman (barring some short family-related interruptions). I'll list some themes that applied to me that I think would apply generally: Work interruption: As much as I tried to avoid it, transitioning ...


84

The 10 minute interval given here seems to be common in the US, while in Europe 15 minutes is also in widespread use, but some universities also use 5 minutes. It is to solve a rather practical scheduling problem: If one lecture ends on the hour sharp, and the next begins on the hour, you would have only zero time to walk an often non-zero distance to get ...


82

It sounds like you already have a well-functioning department, without interpersonal problems, so be careful that any changes don't make it worse. Thus, I would suggest approaching the problem with caution, being careful that anything you add is not creating unintended consequences. Having said that, here are some suggestions (I am nowhere near HoD level, ...


79

Academics sure do drink a lot of coffee---but do they drink any more coffee than other professionals? According to Wikipedia, 150 million Americans adults drink coffee daily (out of about 240 million total), a rate of more than 60%. So if most adults drink coffee in America, it's entirely unsurprising that academics are like most other adults and that ...


78

I’m afraid you are misinformed. Professors (including in STEM) are ordinary humans and are entitled to the same set of feelings, emotions and lifestyle choices as other people are accorded by the rest of society. They certainly might suffer from loneliness, and deal with it in the same way that any other person might. But what you wrote about “Any ...


78

I think the reason is simply that a lot of people go into academia with the, often unrealistic, goal of becoming a professor. No matter the circumstances, if you don't get to the point where you want to be, well, you can call it a failure, can't you? This is aggravated by the pyramid structure of academia, where there are fewer positions available for every ...


72

This information came from a tweet I shared to express my excitement for finishing my PhD and, in the process, increase by 1 the number of underrepresented minorities in the US with a doctoral degree. I did not expect for this tweet to get the attention it has, but I'm glad it's opened the doors for more in-depth discussions about diversity and ...


72

Ignore the crank. Unless you are in some location where you are required by law to respond to communications (I remember reading here about one country where it was indeed the case that it was required to answer emails as part of "open records" laws), you are under no obligation to waste your time on a crank's musings. If it amuses you to respond, feel ...


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