156

First, if you haven't already, I suggest you have a discussion with your advisor about what to do with the result. Is it worth writing up? Is it worth trying to publish or try to go further? If so, you should write it up and make sure there are no errors, and hopefully your advisor will be willing to help check over this. Is it possible they will try ...


103

I'm going to come this from the other (probably less popular!) direction. I see no evidence of racial bias in your description. Of course I wasn't there and can't judge it, but to me it seems like you describe a straightforward disagreement between classmates. I would be very careful about raising the issue of race unless you have compelling evidence. It ...


100

What should you do? You should ask the professor politely and without imposing your pre-judgement on whether this is or is not prohibited by the rules of the class. You are not in a position to make this judgement. The only person who can give a definitive ruling is the professor who set the rules. I recommend an approach like: My teammate has ...


99

How do I act diplomatically while at the same time making sure I get due credit for my achievements? Follow JeffE's advice: You have at least three people who contributed to the proof of the theorem. The advisor who suggested the problem. The grad student who worked out several ways that don't work. And you who produced a proof. So it is perfectly valid to ...


73

Like qsp, I'm not of the opinion that this is self-plagarism. Nor do I think it's an 'external library' by any meaningful sense of the word. For that matter, what are you expecting him to really do - he's already written code to do this, even if he wrote it again from scratch, is he not allowed to refer to other things he's done? I constantly look back at ...


48

I have spoken to … but have not wished to pursue any formal complaints procedures out of fear my supervisor will compromise my PhD … and ruin my ability to work in research … Okay, so I am going to be the bad-guy here. What you say you fear will happen here has already happened. What you describe ---if accurate--- is already massively compromising your ...


46

No, you didn't do the wrong thing. She did not notify you in advance of the deadline, and you needed to submit to avoid incurring your own penalties. She and the instructor can sort out the mark - it may be that her issues meet the guidelines for special consideration for example. Ultimately, it's none of your business and not your responsibility. I know ...


43

Your question raises interesting issues of honesty, teamwork and psychology. Let's examine how some of those ideas interact in your situation. Now, the course instructors have made it clear that we are not allowed to use any external libraries to perform certain classes of algorithms for this project. This students' prior code would fall under this ...


40

I'm afraid you are understanding "self-plagiarism" incorrectly. The purpose of coursework project is to help students understand the algorithms. That's why the professor does not allow the use of external libraries. However, in your case, your partner did implement the task by himself (if his partner in undergraduate did that, it is a different story). So he ...


38

...never disturb to other colleagues. When I discussed with other colleagues... Good for you! My question is how would I know about these things before joining his group? By talking with other members of the group, away from faculty, during your interview visit (or some other time before accepting the offer). Conversations with students outside the ...


38

A problem I see here is that this scheme may motivate people to divide the points "tactically". Say our group project is worth 10 points and I only need 5 for my goal (which may be the least passing grade or the best grade or whatever). Then of course I would take only 5 points and give 15 to my collegue (which is more than the project is worth). ...


29

First off, if the professor is reluctant to have you talk to members of the group, this is a huge red flag. When you visit, ask if you can sit in on lab meetings or seminars (some group setting) and observe the dynamic. Does everyone seem engaged and happy to be there? Is the mood collaborative and friendly, or authoritarian? Basically, put yourself there ...


29

First of all the term partner is a bit confusing here, are you talking about course-mates or colleagues? Otherwise ask yourself whether or not you want to be associated with forgery, regardless of whether or not you intend to enjoy the fruits of the action. As an analogy, would it be OK to help with forging counterfeit money just because you don't intend ...


29

My advice is very simple: get out of this place, away from these people. You already have compromised your PhD by joining the wrong group. As soon as the issues surfaced you should have moved on. I do not know whether there was anything in particular which triggered their treatment, and whether this is "special treatment" for you, but maybe this is the ...


26

You have a lot of questions interspersed within your question, but it sounds like the main issue is the research area of the group is very diverse, every time I just listen on something I cannot understand and have totally no interest on it, and I believe other members think the same way as I do when I am presenting. I have had the same problem in the ...


25

It is well known that "When are you graduating?" or even "How is your research going?" can be touchy questions among graduate students. But this is well known in part because they get asked these questions constantly, including by each other. And even if they can be unpleasant to answer, they are still fair questions. I'm not sure that the problem lies ...


25

Regarding the rules made by the professor, the letter of the law is clear insofar that it absolutely allows both your interpretation and that of your colleague. So disregard it and look for intent. In terms of intent, what we can do is make an educated guess, but a much easier way to find out about intent is to simply ask the one who made the rule.


24

Of course I can't say anything definitive based on the limited information in your question, but one possibility is that you may have inadvertently committed a faux pas. Your advisor may be upset that he/she didn't anticipate this possibility and head it off. One of the basic rules of the mathematical community is that you don't compete with graduate ...


22

Your suggestion looks fine. I would consider making an offer to bring them up to speed on anything you have been working on that could help them out.


21

In formal academic writing, the problem of self-plagiarism is answered by citing the sources that were used, even if the sources are by the same author. I think it would not be unethical to reuse the code earlier written by your groupmate as long as your groupmate explicitly states to your professor that the code was written by the groupmate for an earlier ...


21

I like this as an experiment in ethics, but not as an actual grading scheme. If you allow team work, you will have a small number of people getting better grades than they might deserve. And...so what? It’s not intrinsically different from making homework part of the grade, where friends will help each other. Your job is to teach and assign grades you deem ...


19

Contact the people who left the group, either by graduating with a PhD, finishing their post-docs, or through getting tired of it, and find out about their experiences. You can find their names on the group/professor website either explicitly under "students" / "post-docs", or by looking through the list of co-authors/publications. In all likelihood, they ...


18

This sort of thing has roots way beyond academia. There is a lot about the dynamics of women having difficulty being spoken over in meetings (though I imagine it could apply without respect to gender too, based on differing levels of assertiveness). Maybe a few things to try: When someone, even your advisor, talks over her, say "Wait, what were you about ...


18

You do it in exactly the same way as you raise most problems with most bosses: You start by briefly celebrating something successful. You go on to quickly point out one or more of their objectives that aren't being realised or won't be realised. You concisely describe how the problem (in this case low morale) is causing that. You don't put blame on people....


16

I'm so sorry this happened to you. A really functionalist answer is that universities all care about whatever they are accountable for. Things like complying with federal funding requirements and filing paperwork are, functionally, what all universities care about. Plagiarism: Ultimately it detracts from school reputation and accreditation, not to mention ...


16

I basically echo @cactus_pardner's comments, but/and with some further points: First, again, universities (like corporations) behave like feral, amoral entities whose only genuine concern is self-preservation or self-aggrandizement. In particular, disturbingly, they can shed administrators who in-effect impede that. So it's not that "all we have to do" is ...


15

Bullying in academia is currently getting higher exposure as a problem. See the recent cases of Nazeen Rahman at ICR in the UK, or Guinevere Kauffmann at the Max Planck. In this climate it is less likely that complaints will be ignored. If faculties don't want the bad press that dealing with an abuser brings, they want the bad press of being found not to ...


14

Most people who are trying for theater or fashion careers need a "day job" that pays the rent and buys the food unless and until their preferred career takes off. For a lot of them, it is a minimum wage job. You can make it much better paid than that if you play your cards right. I suggest concentrating on your studies until you have your degree. Look for a ...


14

Just publish it. You are the "kid" in this business and all you did was to do what was asked of you. You just happen to do better than what was expected of you. Hardly anything to be worried about! So be humble and thankful but grab the credit that you deserve and let the others worry about their own ego frailty. Those are not your problems. Spread your ...


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