128

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: they feel it died a well-deserved death due to a lack of important connections with the rest of mathematics. (They are wrong, both about whether it in fact died ...


122

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) satisfying Star(Spade(a,b),Spade(c,d),Spade(e,f)) = Spade(Star(a,b,c),Star(d,e,f)). I could now devote my life to the study of Gobleflumps. I could publish papers ...


91

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 themselves, and as you said, it's possible the other person has gotten better about it, so maybe it's a non-issue. But more importantly, since you're all in the ...


63

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 is the payoff? Why should anyone take the trouble? I don't mean to cause offense, but these are questions that you must anticipate and be prepared to ...


62

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 published by some local org (say, a school, church, youth group, etc) to have local ads to cover publishing costs from the neighborhood dental clinic, grocer, ...


50

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 several departments (One US ivy league, two UK golden triangle, genomics/systems biology) where the grad program was incredibly collegiate and friendly, but I know ...


38

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 Reading posts of yours like Is a university that grants me a PhD for $1000 and a copy of my unpublished book fake? or http://www.mathematics21.org/algebraic-general-topology.html makes me believe that the ...


34

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. Mochizuki's work on the ABC conjecture and Poenaru's work on the Poincare conjecture are both good examples. Both have constructed intricate theories with very ...


31

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 weak thing. People may "accept it" but ignore it. It is not clear what reaction you expect. This reminds me of my contact with an angry amateur mathematician who ...


29

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 certainty. For example, if a woman leaves academia because she got saddled with tons of committee work, student advising and other activities, and is denied tenure, ...


29

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.e., there are some cases in which (nearly) everyone agrees that something is sexist, there are cases that depend on interpretation, in part based on personal ...


28

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 accused of mis-labelling someone, so don't label or explicitly warn anyone. You have a right to your experiences, and you have the right to tell people about them. ...


25

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 another answer to this question, because I'm in the unusual position of doing two taught master's programs, and from the hints in your question I strongly suspect ...


22

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, scientists generally faced a nasty computing dilemma: Use Windows, and have a terribly difficult time using lots of Unix-based scientific applications. Pick a Unix ...


20

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 included a summary of key takeaways at the end. The Literature Woods, N. N., Brooks, L. R. and Norman, G. R. (2005), The value of basic science in clinical diagnosis:...


20

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 the job. In many fields, using Windows is simply not an option. We need UNIX. Linux is a good operating system, is free, and can be installed on a wide variety ...


20

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 really should address this behavior through the administration. Don't assume that anyone else has noticed anything - especially if most of your colleagues are ...


18

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 at your masters program as "toxicity"; I imagine there are others who found it a positive motivator. Ph.D. programs vary highly in mood and culture. Although ...


17

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 reading for free. This study, Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering is slightly dated as it was published ...


12

Instead of getting the community to approach you, I suggest that you be the one to approach the community. As an amateur (one who is outside the academic mathematical community), you are at a big disadvantage. I recommend that you attend conferences and interact with others who are doing work similar to yours. In my opinion, the best way to get attention ...


12

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 the latter, we have various forms from teaching, developing and maintaining softwares to writing or translating books, writing and editing in Wikipedia, ...


10

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 you said -- I would say it is fine to tell them what you saw, as a friendly warning. If nothing comes of it, that's great news, and you can rest easier knowing ...


10

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, paraphrasing: it takes a village to raise a grad student!


10

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 ad "service" that has the ability to place ads on your site according to their judgement, not yours. You will regret it pretty quickly, I'd guess. ...


9

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 group of mathematicians say, "Hey, we keep meeting and talking about Topic X and there are lots of other people who'd be interested. Why don't we run a workshop on ...


9

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 students' competition over the limited resource of these famous professors' time. I’ve never heard of “competition over professors’ time” being an important factor ...


9

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 (teaching fellow). The idea behind it was to get someone to teach in a specific area. The job is open-ended, the same salary as other faculty (Lecturer/assist prof), ...


7

It's a good question Artem. Establishing a good system such that your research can be known to other researchers in your field (or even in other fields) seems to me the way to go. The main problem I see is for those of us that do not work in fields where the hiring people are themselves interested in having a web presence. Most cancer researchers do not seem ...


7

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 groups in the world are knowledgable about. The broadest ones are about an entire overarching research field. Of course, there also are overlaps between ...


7

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 jerks, but just don't play well with others. Top tier institutions are very competitive for admissions of course, but not necessarily thereafter. But the pace ...


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