197 votes
Accepted

How to deal with a student who most likely has a mental condition, and keeps arguing with me in class?

I have responsibility for students with alternate needs within a Computer Science department and thus have professional experience of the situation you describe. It is not uncommon in our subject. ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar
106 votes

How to deal with a student who most likely has a mental condition, and keeps arguing with me in class?

As a fellow TA, I would definitely recommend that you discuss this issue with the professor in charge of the course as taking matters into your own hands without his knowledge (especially with special ...
Abbas Javan Jafari's user avatar
102 votes
Accepted

Thesis reviewer requests update to literature review to incorporate last four years of research. Do I need to do this?

The criticism is that you're not up to date on the current state of your own field of specialty, and it is not a light matter. If the "reviewer" is some sort of committee member that can throw a ...
Scott Seidman's user avatar
100 votes
Accepted

Professors/Teachers only replying to part of my email

Professors are busy and receive a lot of mail (> 50 per day, not counting mass-mailings). It's rational for them to skim past the salutations and introductory parts until the end, where you usually ...
henning's user avatar
  • 35.1k
88 votes
Accepted

Asking questions in class: how can I "exit" a Q&A when I haven't really understood?

The situation is complicated so there is no simple answer. Over time you and your instructor(s) will have to work out a modus vivendi. From my point of view as a teacher, I want you to try to continue ...
Ethan Bolker's user avatar
  • 35.8k
85 votes

How to react when professor wrongly corrects you in public?

Did you pass your thesis defense? If so, it's all water under the bridge. If it is eating you up inside, you could send a polite note to the senior professor (cc:ing your advisor) thanking them for ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 40.4k
79 votes

How should you respond when a professor answers your question with "It's obvious!"?

You can act in two alternative ways: Tell the professor: "Sorry, maybe it's obvious, but I cannot really get it: could you please explain it to me anyway?" Accept that the professor might ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
78 votes

Thesis reviewer requests update to literature review to incorporate last four years of research. Do I need to do this?

First, if a reviewer stated that you should better do something, then you better do something (in most cases, do what the reviewer says, unless you have a very good reason to do something else). ...
Dirk's user avatar
  • 38.1k
73 votes
Accepted

How can I politely tell a student that I already support him several times and that is enough?

I'll assume you already have language that indicates your support. Don't give up on that. But, ask him for two things. First, that he only asks for feedback once a week (or whatever you are ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
72 votes
Accepted

How do professors view a student who has good grades but always asks stupid questions?

Students often have a highly distorted perception of themselves with respect to the feelings of their professors. The differential in both power and experience between student and professor is just ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 188k
67 votes

Asking questions in class: how can I "exit" a Q&A when I haven't really understood?

I don't want the lecturer to feel like maybe they've done a poor job of explaining when perhaps I'm just not grokking an underlying principle. If you're not grokking an underlying principle, the ...
Wildcard's user avatar
  • 4,314
51 votes

How to deal with a student who most likely has a mental condition, and keeps arguing with me in class?

Note: This started out as a comment to vonbrand's answer, but grew a bit too long, so I turned it into a separate answer of its own. While asking students to defer any distracting (irrelevant, too ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
51 votes
Accepted

Can I use a fake email address for asking simple questions to experts?

I agree with both of the provided answers so far, but I feel like they are incomplete as they avoid the core issue here. The problem that you are facing is not reputational blowback. It's that you are ...
Stella Biderman's user avatar
48 votes

How to react when professor wrongly corrects you in public?

Forget about it and go on with your day.
Cape Code's user avatar
  • 27.1k
48 votes

Professors/Teachers only replying to part of my email

I've been guilty of this kind of thing. The emails I receive can be roughly taxonomized into two categories: A. Those I can quickly answer while waiting in line at Starbucks, sitting on the bus, ...
user168715's user avatar
  • 6,183
48 votes

Can I use a fake email address for asking simple questions to experts?

Bad idea. I'm glad you "don't like it". Don't do it. Talk to your lab mates and colleagues. Ask your professors. Ask at mathematics stackexchange. Use the feedback you get to figure out ...
Ethan Bolker's user avatar
  • 35.8k
47 votes
Accepted

What are strategies for minimizing student questions during exams?

I explain at the start of the first test that, "Questions clarifying what you're reading are okay (raise your hand, I'll come over). I cannot tell you how to solve a problem. My response may be, 'I ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
44 votes
Accepted

Is it normal to have a bad feeling after asking questions?

It sounds like you may be experiencing impostor syndrome. It's the feeling that you don't really deserve your accomplishments and that you could at any moment be exposed. Most people will experience ...
Nicole Hamilton's user avatar
42 votes

Is supervisor bound to clarify the technical queries of a Ph.D. researcher?

No. The role of supervisor is understood in a number of ways by a number of people, but supervisors are not bound to clarify technical questions. They should provide reasonable guidance (for instance ...
ZeroTheHero's user avatar
  • 27.3k
39 votes

What are the steps I need to take when an author won't answer clarification questions?

I get far more emails than I can reply to, but occasionally I do reply to random emails from people I don't know concerning papers I have written. The main factors that lead to me replying are: (1) I ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 491
37 votes

How to react when professor wrongly corrects you in public?

Generally, when faced with questions or comments like this one, you need to respond in a way that is open to the possibility that the professor is right, but that nonetheless demonstrates your belief ...
user2390246's user avatar
  • 12.3k
36 votes

What are strategies for minimizing student questions during exams?

You ask about minimizing questions, but really from how you describe your motivation it sounds like the real question is about minimizing distractions to you and to the students; the questions of type ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 190k
35 votes

How should you respond when a professor answers your question with "It's obvious!"?

Your professor was a jerk. When someone comes to me with a question they seek an answer to - I do my best to answer it. I may skip some parts and highlight the need to review them (from this we get X, ...
WoJ's user avatar
  • 8,330
34 votes

Is supervisor bound to clarify the technical queries of a Ph.D. researcher?

It is not in the best interests of students at any level to have all of their questions answered directly. Part of being a good teacher is the ability to help students learn to answer their own ...
Dikran Marsupial's user avatar
33 votes

Students and postdocs not asking questions

During and after the talks and seminars in our dept. (~80 people, ~10 groups, ~40 postdocs+PhD+Master students), it is extremely rare to see postdocs or students asking questions. 90-95% of the ...
Pete L. Clark's user avatar
33 votes

How can I politely tell a student that I already support him several times and that is enough?

I think the key here is your insistence on “trying to be polite and nice” and telling the student “politely”. I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing your desire to be polite is getting in the way of ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 190k
30 votes

Asking questions in class: how can I "exit" a Q&A when I haven't really understood?

My impression is that you see only two ways to react to asking a question and not "getting" the answer: (a) give up, or (b) repeat the exact same question once again (you talk about "asking the same ...
xLeitix's user avatar
  • 135k
28 votes

Is it normal to have a bad feeling after asking questions?

While asking questions should never be discouraged, there are good questions and there are bad questions. For your case in particular, reading a paper and not understanding part of it, there is a due ...
Scott Seidman's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

What are the steps I need to take when an author won't answer clarification questions?

I would consider it all right if you write one or two reminder emails, maybe after three weeks and six weeks. A lot of people just forget about emails, or put them aside, especially if they cannot ...
J Fabian Meier's user avatar
22 votes

How do professors view a student who has good grades but always asks stupid questions?

Although I do well in most of my classes, I do have a "bad" habit of asking stupid questions frequently. I can see from the faces of professors that they dislike students who always ask stupid ...
J.R.'s user avatar
  • 13.4k

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