72 votes

What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of leaving tenth grade early to pursue an internship at a prominent research lab?

I'd like to offer a counterpoint to Anonymous Physicist. I started school early because I was on the border of the birthday cutoff date, and then skipped my senior year of high school. So I left for ...
  • 793
64 votes

What's an efficient way to learn simple formulas by heart without understanding?

Note: this answer was migrated from physics.SE, so I've had to re-render the formulas as images. The answer is also specific to learning physics, though it might work for other fields too. This looks ...
  • 3,759
62 votes

Why doesn't academia incorporate spaced repetition in higher education?

In higher education, if there is information to be memorized, students are generally expected to do that themselves, in their own time and their own way. This is unlike primary education, for example, ...
  • 107k
62 votes

Is buying lecture notes wrong?

I don't see anything wrong. If it were answers to exam questions, or even homework, then I'd be concerned. But the notes give you an alternate explanation of many topics and that is very useful (and ...
  • 280k
60 votes
Accepted

What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of leaving tenth grade early to pursue an internship at a prominent research lab?

Wait! Perhaps you can finish tenth grade AND attend the internship, using some people skills :) First, there should be an administrative coordinator listed in your internship correspondence. (If ...
59 votes

How to educate bachelor and master exchange students from Asia?

I teach at a university in Asia and I could say the exact same thing about our European/American exchange students. Quite simply, exchange students have very different incentives from regular ...
  • 23.5k
53 votes

Is it professional for a professor to ask "surprise" questions on a test?

I don't see a reasonable answer beyond "it depends." It depends on the question: some surprise questions are not actually so difficult and could reasonably be asked on a test with no special ...
47 votes

Can I pursue a bachelor degree at 42? What should I consider when deciding whether to do so?

Firstly, to answer the actual question at the top: yes, absolutely. There is no age limit on doing a degree. It is not at all unusual for people significantly older than you to complete degrees. My ...
  • 1,112
41 votes

Is it professional for a professor to ask "surprise" questions on a test?

Every question on a test should be about the material in the course. Many times, however, the professor may be trying to teach a deeper concept than some of the students have learned. This is what ...
  • 182k
34 votes

Am I helping my graduate students too much?

One of the solutions for limiting / demarcating the time you spend on MA students is to set aside specific office hours for that purpose. For example, you could dedicate Fridays 1p - 5p for the ...
  • 39.9k
33 votes

Do Professors Get An Education "Allowance"?

This is probably as variable as the educational system generally. But I'd doubt that more than a few professors get special allowances for such things. Some of the books you see are text books given ...
  • 280k
31 votes
Accepted

How to educate bachelor and master exchange students from Asia?

I do think your first point is a little strange as in my experience (American university, CS), the Asian students always attended and were often the ones that stayed after during the additional review ...
  • 436
30 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't academia incorporate spaced repetition in higher education?

In tertiary education, it is the responsibility of the students to pick appropriate learning methods. It is simply not the task of a university to incorporate spaced repetition or any other learning ...
  • 18.2k
30 votes
Accepted

What to do if my undergrad hasn't prepared me well for grad school?

Just a guess, but the guess is that you are uniformly underestimating your own skills and the quality of your education. You say "When an author derives something, I sometimes need a few minutes to ...
  • 280k
27 votes

Is it professional for a professor to ask "surprise" questions on a test?

I guess it depends on what you call a "surprise question". Usually, when you design tests, you don't want all questions to be the same difficulty. Rather, you would want to have a number of basic ...
  • 129k
23 votes

Is buying lecture notes wrong?

There's nothing ethically wrong with using resources outside of class for the purpose of teaching yourself the material. If anything, going beyond what you are given in the course to educate yourself ...
  • 7,331
22 votes

What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of leaving tenth grade early to pursue an internship at a prominent research lab?

"I don't think not being in traditional high school will be a hindrance to my college admissions" As a high school dropout who is now an academic, I have found skipping much of my secondary education ...
21 votes
Accepted

Difference between "2-year community or junior colleges" and "4 year undergraduate program" in USA

Two-year degrees in the US often award either an "associates degree" or some technical certification/profession-specific degree. These degrees are not typically part of the "bachelors -&...
  • 74.1k
17 votes

Is it professional for a professor to ask "surprise" questions on a test?

In my view, a fair examination question draws on any or all of the following: Material discussed or presented during class contact time. Material from any of the items on the course reading list. ...
  • 1,181
17 votes

I feel like I forgot my simple mathematical knowledge

As a grad student in computer engineering, I have a similar problem when I switch between projects that use different programming languages. I might spend months working in a high-level language like ...
  • 5,992
17 votes

Has the student responsibility for not cheating?

I disagree with much of your premise. It is the students responsibility not to cheat It is the responsibility of the professor to detect cheating when possible It is the responsibility of the ...
  • 10k
15 votes
Accepted

How can I prove my self-studied knowledge?

One may prove their knowledge by these aspects. They may have a certificate of the courses they have passed. They may have a publication or patent registration in the field of their personal studies. ...
  • 7,390
15 votes

Are My Interests More Suited for PhD in CS or Mathematics?

After doing some research on the Web, it seems to be the case that my interests fall into the field of theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics. Yes, I agree. Moreover these fields ...
15 votes

How to educate bachelor and master exchange students from Asia?

I hate to answer by stereotyping, so I'll do my best to avoid it. That said, there are differences between people in different parts of the world. Some are easy to see and anticipate, once you know ...
13 votes

US statute of Higher Education System

One of the key things about U.S. system of higher education is that it is, for the most part, not regulated by statute. For all of the "rules" that you explained, there are institutions that do not ...
  • 182k
13 votes

Why doesn't academia incorporate spaced repetition in higher education?

Spaced repetition is indirectly present in higher ed. We have all heard the humorous phrase that an ms is "more of the same" and a PhD is "pile higher and deeper". This implies that there is indeed ...
13 votes

What to do if my undergrad hasn't prepared me well for grad school?

I don't feel like I have the background to actually do research Undergraduate degrees do not (generally) prepare you for research. By teaching software development and neglecting the mathematical ...
  • 40.2k
13 votes

How much does the name of the PhD degree matter?

I have no insight into this degree but my experience is that it does not matter. People will care about what you do and what you have done, not what it’s called. In addition, there is now a (...
  • 20.7k
13 votes

Is online education really free?

It's certainly not always free. Rules vary around the world. Here in the US, there is usually no requirement that course materials be made publicly available. The instructor is generally allowed to ...

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