New answers tagged

3

This is a classic example of what’s been dubbed the “XY problem.” You have some actual problem to which you’ve decided that emailing this professor is the solution and you’re asking about your solution. But I’m quite confident that getting a professor at another school to read a draft of an essay is not the correct solution to any problem. You should not ...


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

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 ...


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.


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 ...


0

As students read textbooks and solve exercises, but do not have access to them while writing the actual exam. So is the case with StackExchange. You don't have access to it while writing the actual exam. Whatever case you follow, as long as you did well on the exams, why should it matter? BTW, if you do join PHD, please use mathoverflow.


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 ...


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 ...


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 "...


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 ...


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

Having struggled with imposter syndrome since what feels like my birth ("How have I fooled everyone into believing I deserve to exist and participate in society?!"), I frequently revisit these answers for a moral boost, especially during conferences, where I fear the concentration of experts looking at my work all at once will somehow trigger my pending ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


2

Your story sounds reasonably similar to mine a few years ago. I somehow got a maths degree, but neither with good grades nor with some really deep and relevant kmowledge. Got problems finding a job because a job requires work experience and work experience requires a job. I actually found a programming job in the end, one year after graduation. What helped ...


1

I graduated with a Computer Science degree in 2016 with low grades. It took me 6 months to get my first job as a junior dev. The advice I can give you for getting a development role is that you create a website and put your CV there(like a portfolio/bio). These days if you show in the first 5 minutes of the interview that you have a website live that will ...


3

If you have programming skills and some passion for programming, consider contributing to some existing open source project on your spare time. There are many of them, e.g. on http://github.com/ or http://gitlab.com/ If you work with others, you will learn those soft skills (communicating, working in a team on software development). And you'll increase your ...


4

If you understand math to a decent level, I think you're more than fit for a career in machine learning. Since you can also program, that's another advantage for you. The nice thing is that ML is a tool, rather than a "destination". You can use it to solve a lot of problems, from many different domains, which will interest you beyond just doing what the boss ...


2

You should be somewhere in your early 30s, that's not too late. Go to programming: you can learn the basic skills online (leetcode is a great place, for example) in about a year or so, then join an open source project of your choosing for about a year or so as well - to show that you can apply those skills. That, plus your math creds should give you a resume ...


0

I agree with everybody about the low importance of grades, but offer one suggestion. Maintain good enough grades to not be kicked out of your program. At my institution, two C's on your transcript will get you the boot.


0

First, let me say that I don't know exactly how bad your grades are since I do not know the rules in your country. My impression is that you care too much about grades. A single grade (or even three) is often not only related to how you do in the subject, but also to many other things -- how strict the prof grades, in what kind of mental state the prof is, ...


1

It is true that research matters much more than coursework in graduate studies (if you get a paper in Science then no one will care if you got a B- in some random course). I half-jokingly tell my students that they should get the minimal grades needed to keep their scholarship. That said, bad grades in your own field of study are not a positive indication ...


2

Your intuition that you need multiple passes to learn the material is correct. Retrieving material several times from long term memory (spaced repetition) will keep that material accessible to you for much longer than cramming. Another effective technique is to try to teach the material to someone, even if it's a stuffed animal -- by having to explain what ...


2

but the thing is i loved the stuff that was covered in school, and I want to apply it I'm going to give you an outside-the-box suggestion that may or may not intrigue you: consider going into a different field where you can apply the topics that interest you. A lot of mathematics historically was developed in conjunction with other sciences to help describe ...


14

I was in a comparable situation a few years back: I was stuck on a CS BSc thesis that wasn't going anywhere fast with an obscure and unmarketable topic. Also, I had no relevant work experience. I managed to improve my situation through a couple of different things. The best way to get a job is to have a job Finding a perfect job rightaway is hard. All the ...


9

Suggestion: stop learning ODEs and learn Data Science. Nothing against ODEs, but there are very few jobs in that area directly. but Data Science on the other hand is very hot, and likely to stay so. And you have the background to get it faster than those that struggle with the math (and there are a lot of those even in this field), and it is a highly ...


3

My advisor says the grades and courses are a formality and I should focus on my research as I will learn more by doing than through any coursework. Your advisor is right. Listen to him. Class in an engineering Ph. D. program mean very little. Research is more important by an order of magnitude.


3

There are memory systems that assist many peole in better retaining information. Typically it is recommended that you review material repeatedly woth decreasing frequency. I could dig up links, but, so can you and you will better know what suits you. That said: This may be useful Active Recall wikipedia & How to Improve Memory for Studying in 27 ...


2

There are some other good answers here but none of them give concrete steps to your questions of "What do I do? What do I study, and how long is it going to take before I know enough to be marketable?" This is probably because these are questions that only you can answer for yourself, but based on your question and your profile description of wanting to ...


9

You need to get rid of one big misunderstanding which plagues many students who "went to college to learn interesting stuff" and then failed to get a job. Nobody in industry cares about the "stuff" that you learned in college (or what you are teaching yourself about ODEs and numerical methods from textbooks - most of the standard topics they cover were the ...


13

If you're putting the time in, successfully doing the homework, and passing the exams, then you're doing fine. The first year of grad school in mathematics should be thought of as a horrible bootcamp to get through rather than a deep learning opportunity. How comfortable someone is during their first year is mostly a function of what their undergrad ...


7

First thing: congratulations on starting to get your life together. Many good suggestions here. I have one more. While you search for a job, consider volunteering in a semitechnical capacity for some nonprofit or political organization whose goals you support. With your IT/compsci skills (even if rusty) and your ability to think mathematically you can be ...


1

Don't think to much about being ashame for scoring low. One of my professor pointed out that we should be mature, meaning don't just look at the score, look at what you learn. Even if you can't solve it in class you should talk to someone, e.g. your professor, to know how to solve it, and that helps you learn. Remember your (short term) goal is to pass the ...


1

The course is, as I hope, intended to improve students' presentation skills so they can deliver their results more effectively on the international stage, not only on the local backyard called university. English is not my mother tongue, therefore I need to translate the speaker's speech from their accent to english I understand and then to my mother tongue. ...


9

Get around people! A lot of people want to help you, you just have to find them. How do you do that? Go to meetups and groups. Heck, go to church, there are a lot of nice people there. Meet people and if they seem like someone who would give a care about you, tell them about your situation. They can help you much better in person. They can give you ...


62

First of all, jobhunting s u c k s. It sucks even more when you're trying to get into a field and it sucks further if you're not in a major metro area. It's a massive timesink with terrible ROI, but it needs to be done in order to get a job at all. The truth is that whether you get hired isn't going to just depend on your skills and experience, but also on ...


0

I don't have enough reputation to comment so I just add an answer here. Since you insist on learning instead of just getting a job, instead of asking what do I learn, perhaps you should ask how do I learn, given that you have already recongized you didn't learn efficiently during your master degree. If there's a university where you live, you could try ...


1

Bottom line, grade according to the published criteria While it varies, most major projects should have well established criteria ahead of time for the students to focus on. Items such as use of proper grammar and word choice may or may not be on it. The type of class matters You didn't mention what type of class this is, and I think that matters a great ...


0

For grading - I would only deduct points if it was quite difficult to understand. If a native-English speaker ALSO spoke too fast, or combined words, would you take a deduction there? I try to be very generous grade-wise with international students, because they are dealing with a lot. Some students are ahead in their written ability than their speaking ...


5

Remember exams are supposed to measure your mastery of the material, and if you focus on only two out of four topics, you haven't mastered all the material - at best you've mastered 50%. Trying to game a passing score this way is not a winning strategy; even if it works, you'll come out of grad school thinking you barely learned anything (example). That ...


3

I have serious reason to believe that the planet from which the little prince came is the asteroid known as B-612. This asteroid has only once been seen through the telescope. That was by a Turkish astronomer, in 1909. On making his discovery, the astronomer had presented it to the International Astronomical Congress, in a great demonstration....


18

Get a job. Don't do more studying - you already indicate that you 1) are not good at it and 2) don't have a good reason to do it (you would effectively be doing it because you're avoiding the job market). It doesn't matter how much you love the topic if you're terrible at it. In fact I would question that you actually love the stuff because if you do, how ...


5

In my view (and in agreement with Buffy's answer), it is inappropriate and rather unfair to penalise someone for their "accent" (presumably you mean their "pronunciation"; having an accent which does not impede correct pronunciation, is generally not a problem). This is true even if what they say sounds like complete gibberish to anyone in the audience. ...


3

Mark them in accordance with the assessment's marking criteria. Each assessment item should have a sheet of marking criteria that will dictate what is required to reach each grade level for that assessment piece, usually divided up into multiple areas with different weights. In an oral presentation, it's likely that one of the areas you'll be assessing is ...


4

There is a large and thriving community studying what is commonly known as Economics and Computation. This includes Algorithmic Game Theory: the study of computational strategic agents. A good reference for this is the seminal Algorithmic Game Theory book. This subfield includes routing games (how selfish agents behave in network routing), mechanism design ...


10

I wish to elaborate on paul garrett's point, which I agree with: It's not about bias for/against languages/nationalities, but about the context in which one operates. If one cannot communicate effectively, that's a minus.. Specifically, I do not agree with a popular approach that assigns some fixed fraction of the marks to "presentation" and the ...


42

Some decades ago, my professor summarized it roughly like this: The professional vocabulary must be right. The grammar should be right, but errors are acceptable if they don't affect meaning. The pronounciation is optional. The goal was to train students to write acceptable papers, and to understand (or be understood by) other students who are benevolent ...


0

The general answer for all such questions is no, you aren't too old. Even if you were 60. Actually, masters programs are meant for qualified candidates, not for some age group. The fact that most people continue through schooling without breaks explains the age distribution in graduate degrees, not some hidden rules and not market forces. Your ...


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