129 votes

I have made my independent research available as a book on my website. Why is it not celebrated by the mathematics community?

There should be a celebration of general topology being alive, but this does not happen. What is wrong? The people who say general topology is dead are generally not unhappy about this conclusion: ...
125 votes

I have made my independent research available as a book on my website. Why is it not celebrated by the mathematics community?

Here is a brand new mathematical theory I have invented just now (in the last 30 seconds): A Gobleflump is a set together with a ternary operation Star(a,b,c), and a binary operation Spade(a,b) ...
91 votes

Should I warn colleagues of another colleague's sexism?

If this person is "merely" boorish, I think you're best off letting your colleague experience and handle the situation themselves. Presumably they're also professional adults who can take care of ...
  • 16.2k
63 votes

I have made my independent research available as a book on my website. Why is it not celebrated by the mathematics community?

A good and fair question. I took a brief look at your materials, and it seems like you introduce a host of new terminology and notation. It would take a tremendous effort for anyone to learn it. What ...
  • 25.9k
62 votes
Accepted

Is it weird to display ads on an academic website?

Such a website is itself an ad: for the lab, the lab's research, and for the personnel running/working at the lab. In many ways, a lab website is like a resume. While it's not unusual for newsletters ...
  • 74.1k
51 votes

Does being a top-tier university always imply unhealthy graduate student environments?

No, not all graduate programs at top tier universities are unhealthy. I can't say how many are, and it could be the majority in some fields, but it is definitely not all. I have personally been in ...
  • 31.5k
40 votes

I have made my independent research available as a book on my website. Why is it not celebrated by the mathematics community?

You need a reality check. Is this really a breakthrough? Are your assumptions and development of your theory solid? Are the consequences far-reaching? Reading posts of yours like Is a university ...
  • 4,015
33 votes

I have made my independent research available as a book on my website. Why is it not celebrated by the mathematics community?

Even famous establishment mathematicians run into trouble when their work starts to become inbred, creating lots of new concepts and terminology that is not connected to anything anyone else is doing. ...
  • 2,034
31 votes

I have made my independent research available as a book on my website. Why is it not celebrated by the mathematics community?

First, echoing @Anonymous ' answer: people need motivation to learn something that is outside their usual world. Why should they? How will it help them? Second, "acceptance" is in some ways a very ...
29 votes

What is being done to make the academic environment more women friendly?

I imagine actual studies will be few and far between - they'd be difficult to conduct, and I suspect the reasons behind many of the outcomes would be near impossible to establish with a degree of ...
  • 51.3k
29 votes

Should I warn colleagues of another colleague's sexism?

Regarding "Should I warn colleagues of another colleague's sexism?" I think the question is ill-defined, given that "sexism" is both a broad term and is (at least partly) subject to interpretation, i....
28 votes

Should I warn colleagues of another colleague's sexism?

You describe someone's behavior as "less than appropriate, shall we say," but one approach to consider here is to be much more specific when you talk to your colleague. You are worried about being ...
25 votes

Does being a top-tier university always imply unhealthy graduate student environments?

This question developed out of my recent experience doing a masters program at one of the top universities in the world. [...] The degree was a taught masters in mathematics. I'm going to add yet ...
  • 3,759
22 votes

Why are Macbooks so ubiquitous in Science, if they are status symbols

I remember the transition point, which happened in the middle of my grad school, with the major shift happening across approximately 2003 - 2006. What happened was OS X. Before that point, ...
  • 182k
20 votes

Should I warn colleagues of another colleague's sexism?

Here's the thing. Perception of sexism tends to vary widely by gender. I'm not surprised to see that some of the responses appear kind of reluctant to believe that something is sexist. In general, you ...
  • 2,182
20 votes

How can we justify basic research funding?

I split this answer into three sections by the type of source (peer-reviewed literature, Stack Exchange, and miscellaneous). Each source is followed by a quote and/or a short description. I also ...
20 votes

Why are Macbooks so ubiquitous in Science, if they are status symbols

Rest assured that there are reasons enough for using good quality hardware. Those of us who purchase a Mac do not do so because they are a "status symbol". We do so because they are the best tool for ...
  • 15k
19 votes

Does being a top-tier university always imply unhealthy graduate student environments?

My impression, as a mathematician, is that "unhealthy" is subjective. For almost any graduate program, you are likely to find people who thrived in it. For example, you experienced the competitiveness ...
  • 25.9k
17 votes

What is being done to make the academic environment more women friendly?

Studies of the nature you are referring to are often published by The National Academies Press. While the print versions must be purchased, NAP provides Electronic Versions in PDF form or online ...
  • 1,161
12 votes
Accepted

Why are contributions to the education of the broader public not valued much within academia?

Scientists not only need to discover new knowledge but also have to share the knowledge to others. For the former, we have things like universities, collaborate groups and journals to take charge. For ...
  • 129k
10 votes

Should I warn colleagues of another colleague's sexism?

I commented on this question but I decided to put my thoughts into an answer. If you're friendly with the colleague -- enough to know that they won't feel "unnecessary dread", or gossip about what ...
10 votes

Does being a top-tier university always imply unhealthy graduate student environments?

Is this culture inevitable in top-tier institutions? Definitely not. Frequent? Maybe (though hopefully not). Inevitable? No. I wonder whether this pattern will always emerge due to graduate ...
10 votes

Do professors discuss about grad students (not necessarily their students)?

Yes, faculty do this all the time. They talk about their progress, their attitude towards research, and actively seek advice on how to deal with some situations. This is a positive thing in my opinion,...
  • 23.5k
10 votes

Is it weird to display ads on an academic website?

I'm not quite as negative as the other current answers here. I don't think it is unethical, for example, provided that the domain is your own. Weird, perhaps. But, a warning. Don't sign up with some ...
  • 280k
9 votes

Creating a community around my research book

I very much doubt that this idea will work. Research mathematics already has its communities: conferences and workshops. New conferences and workshops pop up all the time but they do it because a ...
9 votes
Accepted

(UK, mathematics) Making the most of a teaching job as an aspiring researcher

First, I’ll describe what happens at my department (engineering, high ranking, UK). It might be useful to understand the mindset. We were recently hiring for teaching only position at my school (...
  • 7,404
7 votes

How to know a community of researchers in order to be more successful in research and getting papers accepted?

1) Communities usually revolve around research topics, rather than journals. There are smaller and broader communities. The smallest ones are about a very specialized topic that only three research ...
7 votes

Does being a top-tier university always imply unhealthy graduate student environments?

Short answer, no, it isn't an essential element of high level education at a top-tier university or anywhere else. But there are jerks everywhere who refuse to work cooperatively and some who aren't ...
  • 280k
7 votes

How do I publish papers taking a middle ground on a controversial topic, when reviewers with strong opinions on either side keep rejecting them?

A principle in rhetorics and the art of persuasion states that it is useful to preemptively address any criticism that you expect will be leveled at you after you make your argument, by raising the ...
  • 174k
6 votes

How can we justify basic research funding?

I think a more interesting way of formulating the question is "how can we decide what is the right amount to spend on basic research?". Sometimes scientists seem to argue as if the right amount is ...
  • 1,471

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