Hot answers tagged

82

Yes you are. Point 4 is downright abuse of power. You are not in any way obliged to provide free tuition to your advisor’s child! If your institution has reasonable management, you reporting this would result in severe disciplinary action (I think I would have my tenure clock pushed and have something on my record for something like this). Even if you were ...


48

If it isn't going to damage the relationship with your advisor too much, you should submit your complete thesis. The arguments you provided from your advisor are pretty weak, and I'm quite sure that 130 pages isn't particularly long. Your arguments to keeping the length are compelling (strength of ideas, likelihood of appeasing difficult thesis committee ...


40

Obviously, as other answers indicate, yes, your supervisor is exploiting you - plain and simple. But here's a suggestion regarding what you should do about it: Collect evidence on how you've been exploited/abused: Emails Letters Written documents indicating what you are required to do, but also what you're doing (e.g. if your supervisor's daughter writes ...


38

The main thing to keep in mind is to finish your degree. If your advisor thinks that leaving that part out helps in that goal then you should consider it. It may be that a minimal but sufficient dissertation is advantageous here. However, that doesn't mean that you abandon the work. You have, in fact, the basis for an additional paper that can probably be ...


32

I think the "length" argument is a red herring and I think it's influencing your thinking too much. I think it's more likely that your advisor is simply not comfortable with the second part of your thesis. I suspect that the uncertainty that your second part is correct may actually be a feeling that your second part is wrong or incomplete (perhaps because ...


29

I would not call this abuse, but I would say that this professor is clearly not interested in working with you. Not answering emails, not meeting with people in a timely fashion etc. are all indicators that the professor just thinks that you're not worth their time. This may or may not be true, but that really doesn't matter - it takes two to tango in an ...


25

Yes, definitely he is using you. Let's break it down one by one. Point 1: Drafting professors' email is a thing that many Ph.D. students do occasionally. But requiring the student to stop doing the experiment in favor of drafting a personal email is not something a good supervisor does. Point 2: Can be a legit point. Although doing it all the time is ...


15

See this from the point of the department: They are giving out diplomas saying "we have seen the work produced by this student and certify that it meets these requirements". If there are no specialists in a given topic, how can they certify that you meet those requirements? When you choose a department for doing your masters then it is up to you to determine ...


13

Honestly, without putting down. Explain the weaknesses of their approach or profile, explain what they would have to change in your opinion to get where they want and explain what they can do if it does not work this way. The point is not discouragement, but letting them understand what their options are. Some people are able to rise far above their ...


11

It's a completely neutral reply. I write these emails to qualified candidates about once a week myself. It is, in essence saying: "You've contacted the wrong guy. I'm not making the decision about admission. We'll talk again if and once you've been accepted and here." In other words, I don't think you can draw any kind of inference from the email -- neither ...


8

I wouldn't say it's abuse, but I would say the professor is not delivering on the most basic requirements of being an academic adviser. In effect, they have unilaterally backed out of their commitment to be your adviser, without even deigning to tell you. Unfortunately, universities do not have a good track record at holding their academic staff to account ...


8

Two reasonable goals at this point are graduating with your Ph.D. and publishing your mathematical discovery. As other answers suggest, achieving the second of these goals is possible with or without including all your current results in your thesis. Thus my general advice is to focus on the first goal. As members of the community at large, there is ...


7

If I remove it and only keep part 1, my results are incomplete and the project only consists of "describing some examples", which is - as I explained above - pretty easy once one knows how to. Since you are saying that the first part is the easier one, I would suggest cutting that one shorter instead of the second part. Whether you cut 25 pages of the ...


6

It is certainly valid for you to feel you are not getting enough supervision, but I don't think it is productive to make that assessment by comparing yourself to other students. That will only lead to frustration. On the specific issue of the preliminary exam, it's possible that he was confident that you would pass and therefore had a low priority on ...


5

You could move part two into a appendix. That could be a compromise which could be acceptable for both your advisor and for you. You can argue that the actual thesis is now ~25 pages shorter and he does not need to read the appendix. You can refer to your appendix from your main text and keep your thesis strong. Moving technical details to an appendix is ...


3

I am not a lawyer, but this type of promise strikes me as a good example of a contract that is very likely to be ruled unconscionable, and hence legally unenforceable, if a court of law were ever to consider the matter. In a more academic context (since academia sometimes obeys unwritten rules that don’t always coincide with the written law), your adviser’s ...


3

In my opinion your friend should talk to the director of studies or whoever is in charge of the PhD program. They should explain that their situation is far from ideal and ask for advice. The objectives of such a meeting would be to: Appear on the institution radar as somebody who may have face difficulties due to these circumstances. This can help the ...


3

Octopus' advice is solid, so I would only add a few things. This reminds me of my dissertation defense experience as well: some advice I received was good, some was bad, but all of it was important to consider. Feedback from your adviser on your work can help with aspects such as style, correctness, or direction. However, the level of rigor in your work ...


3

I stumbled upon your question as I experienced a similar situation back in 1999. A thesis is a wonderful experience and a once in a lifetime project. Breathe it and Own it. Your supervisor remains a supervisor and you have the right to diplomatically tell him what your conclusions are on the structure and logic of your thesis, rather than he tells you what ...


3

The problem with a proof that contains "creative and non-trivial" ideas is that one mistake near the start may invalidate the entire argument, and if someone produces a counter-example, then obviously the proof can never be fixed up. From your description it's not obvious whether it matters from a practical point of view if the classification is complete (...


3

You write that you do not feel confident in your knowledge. However, experts in your field have put your knowledge to the test, and deemed it worthy of publication in a journal. Not once, not twice, but three times. Trust those experts. If they think your knowledge is good enough for three journal publications, then the committee members are highly likely to ...


3

Approach an advisor that you already have a relationship with. Explain that you are an excellent student, providing grades as evidence, if that's true. (If it isn't, I wonder whether pursuing this topic can be recommended.) Explain why you are passionate for artificial general intelligence and symbolic methods, why the research [is] of utmost importance, ...


2

I would mention her, certainly. You don't need to make a big deal of it, but just mention somewhere that you worked on your dissertation under the guidance of Prof M. It is probably a matter of public record in any case. You should also probably give her a note that you are applying to her department. Under the circumstances you state there should be no ...


2

It seems that you are overthinking this. You say she is like a friend. Neither a friend, nor an advisor, has any incentive to lead you into traps. Accept it if she praises your work. Perhaps you are on the right track after all. But we can all improve at the margins, at least. If you have specific doubts about particular things that you do, or write, ask ...


2

Don't argue with your supervisor. It's not worth it. Your supervisor is likely a much more experienced academic than you, so his judgment of the situation is more likely to be accurate than yours. As mentioned, the differences are minimal. A good relationship with your supervisor will be very, very helpful in graduating. Given that you have little to gain, ...


2

You said the error is small. Therefore the need for an erratum is small as well. Ideally you would publish the erratum, but if you have more important things to do, that is understandable.


1

Many people are not good in giving feedback. Often, academica have never learned management skills like giving feedback. Some people think they are "mean" if they give negative things, some people feel they are being "picky" if they list small things (even if the other person would be interested in small things also). From dealing with students (giving ...


1

Is it okay to ask my bachelor's thesis supervisor to write a recommendation letter for me? Of course, such things happen all the time. Given your positive history with him, your thesis supervisor would be an ideal choice for such a letter. How can I ask him to write a strong letter without disappointing him? I think just directly asking him would work ...


1

Yes, it's perfectly fine. He should be encouraging you to seek other opportunities as well as staying in his own lab. It take a very jealous and vindictive person to refuse to write a reference for a good student applying to other places. If he is such a person, it would not be a good idea to stay working with him anyway.


1

I suggest that you make the commitment and try to stick to it. It would be good if you get it done. But nothing bad can happen if you don't. It would be unethical for the advisor to even suggest revocation. This sounds more to me like a strong endorsement of the quality of your work and that it should be seen by more than just your committee. I doubt that ...


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