97

Yes! In fact, I think you're well on your way to doing better than your peers! Taking longer to understand something isn't something to be proud of! There's no need to reinvent the wheel. If someone can help you understand something, you would be well-advised to make use of them. In the same way, you would be well-advised to attend the lectures, thereby ...


55

First of all, I believe this is extremely common these days. More and more I notice students neglecting to develop important problem solving skills and instead developing great “google-fu” and “stack-exchange-fu” skills to achieve the same goals. Now, don’t get me wrong, SE-fu is a terrific skill to have. Just like you are worried about using the internet ...


18

I wouldn't worry too much. It sounds like you are making excellent progress. You are still an undergraduate, you have tons of time ahead of you! There are lots of good ways to learn mathematics. Talking with others (including over the Internet) is one. Allowing yourself to get stuck, and trying hard to come up with your own proofs is another. If you feel ...


14

Instead of me looking through your questions on Math SE like Ethan Bolker suggests, let me tell you what I would look for and evaluate instead, and then let yourself do the self-evaluation (which is also an important skill to develop as a researcher!). Basically, I would look at if your questions are well received. If you hit the hallmarks of a "good ...


14

"... unless you went through a textbook and attempted to prove every theorem yourself first you won't truly understand the subject" Nonsense! This is anxious, perfectionistic thinking, and internalizing thoughts like this ultimately caused me to leave academia. I felt that I couldn't pursue my research unless I fully understood everything from first ...


13

No-one really knows the educational effects of reliance on SE yet, mostly because you, and your generation, are the canaries down the coal-mine. Most of the experts who answer questions on the technical SE sites are people who completed their graduate education before SE existed, and some before the Internet was even in regular use. Those of us who answer ...


12

Tell the school(s) exactly that (leaving out the baby and so on) and ask for advice. They may make some exception (or not). Maybe permitting you to submit. Maybe being lenient on deadlines. Maybe contacting the professor themselves (if you provide her email.) You could also ask her to send the original email directly to them, rather than dealing with the ...


9

There are a lot of aspects of training to be a mathemtician. For example, you want to learn: Mathematical theory (definitions, key theorems, key constructions) Literature search (figuring out what's in which papers, finding results in books, using google to find relevant ideas) Mathematical tricks and proof techniques How to struggle with a difficult ...


4

Really, the answer to this is very simple. Everything that you can find on the internet has already been done by someone else. What you are required to do in PhD research is something which has not been done by anyone else yet. Of course, the web may still give you good ideas about techniques, etc. But SE or (any other web forum) isn't actually going to "...


3

I’m worried if Letters of Recommendations not coming from the same ‘XYZ’ area Professor will not help my case. While a letter from someone who is an expert in the subject of your doctoral research is better, it's much more important that the letter writer know about your research record. Sensible graduate admissions committees know that not all ...


2

You can just carry on with this approach through graduate school and well into your career as a professional mathematician. For instance I have at least one series of papers that started because of answers I got to a mathoverflow post when I was confused about something.


2

It very much depends on the Country, the Field, and the Master's. I'm assuming, since you are asking that you are interested in Country where a Master's degree isn't an absolute requirement for a PhD in your field of interest. My field (Life-Sciences) in my country (UK) is like this. I would say that it very much depends on the Master's degree. As far as ...


2

List them anywhere reasonable rather than not listing them at all. Probably you can give short descriptions so that there is no misunderstanding. But let the reader judge the significance rather than assuming that they aren't worth listing. Err on the "say more" side rather than "say less". And, if you can send a Statement of Purpose, mention there how ...


2

Yes, it will be a plus. And no, you won't need to go into details. But get a letter of recommendation from a superior. But part of its being a plus is that it is closely related to your academic trajectory and not something different. And, with permission from the DoD, you can probably say some things, even if not especially detailed. You can, for ...


2

I doubt that it would have any effect at all. You might be better to stress other, more recent things. Presumably your transcripts show proficiency in statistics sufficient for entry. I doubt it would do harm other than to have someone, possibly, question why you did that. And a 3 isn't a huge benefit, as your undergrad experience showed. However, if ...


1

Ask your university, though undergraduate grades probably won’t matter because you’ll probably need to complete a Master’s Degree first. Generally, there are two different methods for PhDs to be structured- ones that take 5-6 years to complete and include a coursework component and can be entered directly after finishing a Bachelor Degree, and ones that don’...


1

In your final semester, it may be exceedingly difficult to show a solid change in your habits and work ethic that I would say would be good for convincing others if you turned it around in the last 2 or 3 semesters. However, you say possibly doing a PHD in the future. If that doesnt mean immediately applying, then gaining relevant experience at work and ...


1

If you are looking up the solutions to the exact (or trivially similar) questions you are being asked in your homeworks, then that is cheating. It is bad for all the reasons that cheating is bad: you are not doing the assignment the professor wants in the manner they want you to do it; you are side-stepping the challenge. Your performance in the assignment ...


1

I suggest you contact them with a letter of interest as soon as you can. You should have a CV and a SoP in good shape, but you probably have a short time to refine it if they show interest. Letters and such can probably be safely delayed for a bit until everyone is serious. But, since they ask for references, names will probably do for the moment. But you ...


1

I imagine that this is one of those situations in which far too many people have this "not invented here" mentality. It is something every one of goes through at some point in our lives. For example, a beginner programmer might insist that he or she has to write their own code for any and all functions that they wish to implement, including shunning the use ...


1

I intended to answer after looking at the kinds of questions and answers you posted on Math SE. I was surprised to find none linked from your profile. Stack Exchange can be a good place to "discuss mathematics", but if all you did was lurk, reading other people's entries, you have not discussed much, and may not be as ready for further study as others here ...


1

I'll address specifically the last part of the question: (This concern recently came up with since I read the requirement of one physics program that at least two of the LORs should be from professor in physics.) I would not interpret this as meaning anything about the name of the department that someone is affiliated with. A physicist housed in a math ...


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