174

The short answer to your question is that you are vastly overestimating your, and other engineer's, ability to judge what techniques will ever have practical relevance. I think it was Michael Stonebraker, a Turing award winning computer scientist with no lack of practical impact, who said that the sweet spot for academic applied research are techniques that ...


122

Grad students who come to office hours with good questions that show serious engagement with the material (e.g. attempts to solve the problem themself) are generally seen as mature, hard-working students. It is also a good way to get to know faculty in your department, which can be useful e.g. if you are looking for a research assistantship, or ...


75

Ask your employer. You should be able to work out a solution both parties are happy with pretty easily. The obvious one is to sell the books and then give your employer the profits. If they don't care, you can also pocket the profits yourself, perhaps recycle the books or donate them to your university's library.


74

One common mistake grad students make is not asking for help when they need it, either from professors or advisors, out of a misguided belief that they're supposed to demonstrate independence or ability by not taking advantage of the resources available. No, it is not frowned on to go to office hours. If a professor goes out of their way to make a resource ...


69

If your advisor can't support you and your research, find another advisor as soon as possible. Your department/grad program should be able to help with this and talking to them should be your next step - it's also possible they can do something to get you funded in the immediate term. In fact, this should have been the advice your advisor gave you instead of ...


56

As an academic librarian, I am frequently asked similar questions. First, please don't just drop them off at the library. Unwanted donations are a significant problem at libraries—it's very difficult to recycle books, so libraries end up having to pay to get rid of books we don't need, on top of the time and effort it takes to deal with a big pile of books ...


46

Give them to the professor. It is often useful to be able to lend the course book to future students who cannot afford the books. Seeing if the library will take them is also a good choice, as mentioned in this answer, but they may not take them as mentioned here. Overall I think the professor can do the most good with them. He can lend the to the library, ...


44

The other school is hiring your adviser because they think they'll be a good researcher and faculty member. This means that at some level they trust your adviser's judgement. It's not impossible, but it'd be highly unlikely that they would refuse to admit you against your adviser's request. The more likely situation, if they're concerned about your ability, ...


41

Usually if you are presenting a poster, it's because you submit a poster abstract to a call for posters, and it is accepted, or submit a paper, and you are informed that it is accepted for a poster presentation instead of a talk, or are otherwise informed by the organizers to bring a poster. If you don't fall in any of the categories above, then in my ...


37

Things with "no practical relevance" are not necessarily useless. They may just be "waiting for their time." For instance, the phenomenon of ionic liquids was first discovered in the early 1900's, but they didn't catch on economically or industrially until the early 2000's when they were "rediscovered" and brought to prominence as "green solvents." So it's ...


36

Go with him. Seriously heed this: Go with him Reasoning: You seem to want to go. The adviser wants you to come with. Gird you loins and make it happen. Put in the work. No, it is not normally automatic* that a university will admit existing graduate students but it is probable that your professor can pull strings to help you get on board. (*for the ...


36

I hate engineering (too practical, too far from physics) This in an unfortunately common misconception, which can bring nonsense answers like this one on Meta Physics SE, where it is said: If I pose this question to an electrical engineer, I will likely get design rules, possibly in the form of immediately useful formulae. If I pose it to a physicist, I ...


31

You need to understand that the quality of journals is not bijectively related to the company that publishes it. Elsevier and Springer are publishers, they have a portfolio of journals and are sometimes hired by professional or academic societies to provide publishing services. The quality of the journal depends on other factors, mostly the editorial ...


31

The damage has already been done in this situation, and your boyfriend should move on with his future. Basically, at this point, I don't see any way in which the relationship with his current advisor can be mended. The name calling and guit tripping makes for an impossible working environment. Even if he were to stay, he would have to deal with the cloud of ...


30

It seems that you already know what to do. You said it yourself, you've struggled with engineering since you started and you had to cheat on an exam that is a pre-req for your future courses. Classes aren't going to get easier and you would be wasting your time and money pursuing this degree. Is there a reason why you're still in engineering? Is there ...


29

It's possible that you are misunderstanding what the signature of a department head implies or requires. In general, signatures are used to ensure that policies and procedures have been appropriately followed. Save for unfortunate cases where resources are solely allocated due to rather extreme corruption (beyond anything I've personally encountered), you ...


24

Research which shows new methods does not have to demonstrate the practicality of the new methods to be useful. An example from something that can be very applied is research in numerical solvers for ODEs. The vast majority of methods which have been created are not used in production-quality ODE solvers. They just aren't efficient. But having a ...


23

Of course anyone can be an independent researcher. Just do it. But that's not what you're really asking. The question you're really asking is this: How can I convince my former supervisor to let me continue using their equipment and resources after my current contract ends? And the only reasonable answer that question is to turn in on its head. What'...


22

Pseudo-applied science is often a waste of resources. This does not mean that fundamental or basis research is pointless, but there is a difference: Having an abstract model for something "out of reach" can be fruitful - one can study it, and add more obstructions in the future. But there are seemingly applied models which draw an unnecessarily amount of ...


19

No formal credential is required for scientific publication in any discipline. What is required is good work, presented well in a context in which the reviewers can understand your results and their significance to the community with which you are communicating. That often strongly correlates with having a Ph.D. in the discipline in which you are ...


19

Donate to other countries I'm not sure if this kind of donation is available in other countries, but in my country (Vietnam), there is an organization collects donated English textbooks from the US and ship to libraries in universities in our country. This solves the need of English textbooks in poor and developing countries. You can visit Vietnam Book ...


18

The prestige of a journal and the exposure it will offer your ideas are not determined by the publisher. Sure, some publishers are better than others on average, but differences between individual journals are overwhelmingly larger than systematic differences between publishers, so there's no way to give a remotely useful answer based solely on the ...


18

Pursue the dual major because it interests you and this is your opportunity to do it, not because you expect a higher salary, because the higher salary probably won't happen. I spent a long career in industry in engineering before coming out of retirement to teach a few years ago. In my experience, hiring managers generally don't care that someone was a ...


17

You don't say where in the world you are or where in the world you want to be. Giving this information would allow for a more targeted response, as the mathematical background of students entering a graduate program varies quite significantly by location: in particular, most European undergraduates take exclusively courses in mathematics and closely ...


17

First, Congratulations! Second, I see you are in Canada. The first thing you should do is join your local Canadian Society of Civil Engineering chapter. Become a member, and attend their events (this may include dinner meetings, speakers, tours, etc.). Talk to people: start with "Hi, I'm Dr. X and a new professor in Civil Engineering at the U of X, ...


16

The goal of research is to advance the state of human knowledge. The goal of development is to create a new capability that did not previously exist. Sometimes, these goals are separate. For example, one might acquire knowledge by studying outcomes from a medical intervention without needing to develop anything new. Likewise, one may do development that ...


16

Overriding answer: ask your advisor. In expository work like this, what I've usually seen done is that you start the section with a note saying something like "The material in this section is primarily drawn from Handbook of Reticulated Splines by P. Smith [47]." After that, you don't bother to decorate every sentence with "[47]" or "as Smith states", ...


16

I think the other answers look at the question in one way, but I'm going to answer it from a more 'human' perspective. Because it's interesting. Most people do research because what they're researching interests them. They're not trying to make millions (quite the opposite usually - they're often not well paid); they're not trying to change the world (...


16

My experience and answer only covers UK academia; the situation in the US might be different (or not). In the UK, graduate students are paying fees to University and also often contribute to research. I would be unpleasantly surprised to see a colleague who would frown upon such student seeking guidance and support. But to be honest I never yet seen anyone ...


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