New answers tagged

2

This is hard to judge without knowing a lot more about why there is a lack of funding. It might be a local problem, in which case you might be fine. But if the funders generally don't value this field or even this line of inquiry within it then you could wind up in trouble. In that case, you need to be prepared to be flexible in the lines of inquiry that you ...


0

Can you provide more information about where you would like to apply for a PhD? Is it in Canada you want to apply? Having this information will make it easier to answer more specifically. A lot will depend on where you are applying. It is unfortunately true that many institutes that receive a high volume of PhD applicants will dismiss applications with rough ...


18

Yes, it is completely wrong to use ˚ as a degree sign. The reason is that ˚ is U+02DA: RING ABOVE. It is not at all a degree sign; instead, it is (semantically) the ring above the A in Å. The correct character is °, U+00B0: DEGREE SIGN. This is almost the first time I have seen someone misuse U+02DA: RING ABOVE as the degree sign. However, it is very common ...


26

As you (presumably) continue down the academic career path, you will be buffeted by all sorts of "helpful suggestions" that span the range from ignorable noise to microbullying by those in positions of authority over you. Editors wanting picky little formatting edits, some good some bad. Reviewers with weird comments. Granting agencies and ...


27

For the International System of Units, the units of measurements are defined by the SI brochure. For the degree, unit of plane angle, and the degree Celsius, unit of Celsius temperature, the SI brochure at p. 133 and at p. 149 uses a circle and not a zero. However, at table 8, the circle is rendered with an "o" (probably they didn't have the circle ...


9

There's a single Unicode character "℃" which could save you having to think about all this.


0

I am also a third year undergrad and in your position. What I know is- if you enter an integrated PhD program here, most of the times you have the option to leave it in 3 years with an M.Sc. degree given that what you wish to pursue for your PhD is not offered at that place. Moreover, worrying about not having any specialities as of now is something too far ...


1

Speaking from the perspective of an American, it is certainly possible to obtain a bachelors degree at one institution, a masters at another, and a phd at a third, with all degrees being in the same field (or not). Changing institutions between undergraduate and graduate work is quite common in the US. I would even go so far as to say that it is preferable ...


8

I've worked as both a researcher in academia and industry. Most answers are correct in that it varies widely by position. However, here is my experience. Academia You pick the question, though there are constraints based on available funding, advisor, department goals, etc. It's freedom in the sense a tagged wild animal is free; people watch you closely ...


2

In the US, at least, it is very common to study at two or three universities on the way to a doctorate. Two is more common than three. Many undergraduate institutions in US don't have graduate programs or have only limited offerings. Some universities encourage their undergraduates to move on to another university just to get a variety of experience. Again, ...


0

I doubt that you would have repeat interviews with the same person unless it is a group interview (group of professors). If they know of your interest in the various positions they will ask whatever questions need to be asked when they meet you. List the professors you want to work with and ignore the overlap. Let them work out the details. Of course, ...


4

Yes, you can study for different degrees at different universities.


75

As a researcher in a company, I need to take issue with the current answers as reflecting a very narrow view of corporate research. This view is common in academia and reflects the typically limited experience of university researchers with the diversity of the non-academic research ecosystem. A large amount of research in corporations is, indeed, focused on ...


3

Abort! If a professor takes the time to write a letter of recommendation for you, and you come back to them saying that it is not good enough, this is highly offensive (and I do not believe I am easily offended). There are three possible reasons why you may think the letter is too short or not detailed enough: The professor doesn't really think that highly ...


10

Speaking from personal experience. I've done both kinds. As a professor, I looked for questions that intrigued me and that I thought I could answer. Sometimes they came from conversations with colleagues, from papers I read, from courses I taught, even from the time I spent playing mathematics with elementary school kids. When I found new mathematics that ...


25

The goals of research are different; a researcher in a corporation is expected to find solutions to specific problems that impact the functioning of the corporation. Alternatively, the corporate researcher may work towards inventions that add direct value to the corporation. Often this means developing something that other corporations do not have. On the ...


13

Having read your question and the comments you have left, what strikes me is what I perceive as an incredible air of entitlement. You are asking this individual for a favor, and you are honestly thinking about badgering them to make a recommendation letter more than one page long (who wants to read that, anyway?) and include loads of specific examples? This ...


15

The basic difference is that research in corporations is much more likely to be very applied, even just applied to product development. In universities (and government labs) the research is more likely to be basic research: answering questions for the sake of knowledge itself. This isn't entirely true and some (a few) corporations do basic research but it ...


0

As a PhD student, I had this problem - the solution turned out to be to call the paper authors for help. One group just sent me their code, which was nice. Another clarified some bits I was doing wrong. I think I remember that one had a typo in the paper, but that might be wishful memory. However, I would also say I came up in an enviroment where my ...


55

I think you should defer to the advisor on both counts. I don't see any negative implication in the first point. It is actually pretty high praise. And on the second, I'll have to guess that his judgment is based on more experience than you have. Moreover, if he doesn't feel constrained by your "instructions", then he will probably write in a more ...


18

There are lots of good teaching-focused jobs in academia, for example faculty positions at small liberal-arts colleges, and lecturer-type positions in larger departments. It sounds like this kind of job would appeal to you more than a job whose primary focus was research. That’s great! Go and learn about those jobs, find people who have taken that career ...


10

This might depend somewhat on the field and certainly on what you intend to do as a career. It is field dependent since different fields place a somewhat different balance on teaching v research. But if you seek a career in an R1 or R2 then you want to focus primarily on showing good research "chops". For those seeking to (mostly) teach at a ...


3

Yes, you should ask for help Assuming you are more-or-less proficient in coding, it is possible (even likely) that the problem is with the paper itself. In that case you will definitely need your supervisor to help figure this out. This is part of the reason why I constantly disagree with people saying "post the source" for academic papers. There's ...


4

I don't think you need to send a "learning roadmap" or solved exercises. A learning roadmap doesn't really convey whether you have learned the subject. The University of Luxembourg requires that you have a masters degree before you start your PhD. If you have a masters in math, then you've probably solved a few exercises in the process. Having ...


14

The question is sufficiently vague that I'm not sure why everyone is assuming that your advisor has set you with a goal to implement something from a paper and no one else can touch it because it's a learning experience for you. Of course you can ask for help from your group - that's why we work in groups. You should definitely ask your advisor who could ...


32

I'd like to add to Buffy's answer and some of the comments: It does happen that the difficulty is in the paper rather than the one sitting before it. I've had a situation where our Master student couldn't figure out how to get an algorithm from a paper working. Neither could I. We decided that they should go on and use a different approach. I later on met ...


3

I think this is fine in almost every case. If it weren't they would have you sign some legal document, but it is hard to see that happening. They might not be terrifically happy with you, but that would pass. In a situation in which considerable university funds had to be spent (not just reserved) for you there might be complications, but then, any ...


22

Yes you can ask, but whoever you ask, make sure you check with your advisor first so that you understand the requirements. The answer might be "do it yourself" of course. But more likely is that, while they leave the task to you, they might point you to some resource that will help you do it. One principle that is important in teaching is to give ...


-1

This might be simplified but I hope it's useful. You can think of the research process as consisting of 4 steps. Step 1. Setting your topic Here you will define your topic, understand the research landscape (the tops and valleys, the things that are important and those ideas that have been discarded). A key activity here includes formulating your research ...


1

You can specialize later on, any research experience you have is definitely a plus. Here's an untold secret, researchers will often switch between subjects throughout their careers (depends on the field and the researcher, some choose to focus on a very narrow field). This means, that it is not uncommon for researchers to begin writing about a completely new ...


3

It all depends on the university and so I don't thinkt here's one piece of advice that suits all cases. At some universities, PhD positions are advertised on their website and through other channels, and potential applicants will need to submit their proposal through those official means. In other situations, a Professor can manually pick a grad student to ...


5

Actually, I don't think it is excessive, though it may be a bit steep. It was a long time ago, but when I was a PhD student in mathematics at an R1 in the US, the "load" of a TA was about half that of the teaching load of a professor (1 course equivalent vs 2 for a professor). I don't see anything in your list that is really out of bounds, assuming ...


0

The other thing to consider is how it will affect you financially. If you pay for your PhD yourself, then you will obviously save money by finishing early, and might get some refund on tuition fees, or avoid having to pay "continuation fees" when you submit at the end of the third year, but it takes time to get you graduated. Conversely if you are ...


2

Mark already talked to the department chair and the graduate chair (though he might be called differently). He needs to continue this conversation urgently. He should also invite them to solve the problem instead of asking them to support his solution (even if in the end, they amount to the same). I would advise to ask the chair to find a new advisor, which ...


2

It is not in my competency to decide what should be in the Data Transfer Document. It is created solely by your advisor. If the advisor solely invented a document for you to sign then really you should not sign it and wait for an official document to come in (I heavily doubt it will come someday).


1

This will depend on the university and on your capacities. Here is an example from my institution, which dose allow for direct-entry into a mathematics PhD: Exceptional applicants may be considered for direct entry to the PhD program from a Bachelor’s program. Applicants should have a strong academic record. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss ...


2

You could also consider a hybrid plan, though I don't know if it is possible where you are. But some places you apply for doctoral studies before you finish your earlier degree. You might be able to do that, depending on timing, and make a final decision depending on what you hear from places you apply to. If it looks promising, just file for graduation. ...


2

I suppose it might vary between different countries, and I have no idea how things work in Brazil. Here in Europe, extra classes would probably have some value, while the fact that you finished earlier - not so much. If you could start some actual research activity it would also be quite helpful in your application. Another aspect is that when applying for a ...


1

If there is someone you are on speaking terms with (dept head? grad chair? student rep? union?) you could explain your concern about signing up for more work though you do not object to handing over existing data as is.


2

The importance of letters of reference is covered in many other questions on this forum, and I won't discuss it here. As for changing letters of reference: Most systems are set up to just take as many letters as are submitted. They will then all become visible to the selection committee. In other words, there is probably little you can do about the already ...


3

You have a say in the wording of the doc. In my experience, there is a bit of back and forth about what these docs say pursuant of a signature. I'm with most of the people above, I'm not sure walking away from 4.5 years of work when you are trying to build a future is sound but only you know the circumstances. Short of hiring a lawyer, I'd simply go through ...


9

What's the best way to approach this and tell the department about this? There is no magic incantation; the approach will be the same as for any other job. Tell them as soon as possible, thank them for all they've done for you, and emphasize that your decision is based on your evolving interests rather than any shortcomings of the individuals involved. See ...


4

You wrote:"My fund comes from a different department completely unrelated to my former PhD adviser." When you accepted this funding, you probably signed a document with a lot of fine print. Check this fine print. I wouldnt be surprised if all your code and IP might actually belong to them already. It is rare that you receive funding from a ...


0

Another factor may be if the department hires a pool of students that are afterwards matched with supervisors after a year or so of courses, or if new students enter a research group directly. In the latter case, you could reach out to your potential supervisor. In certain cases it is in fact beneficial to reach out to possible supervisors ahead of time.


18

First off: You can't be forced to do anything in any situation where you are walking away (*). This implies that when you are asked to sign a document, you can decline. You can also decide to sign it, but you should ask yourself (and the other party) what's in it for you if you do. It's a negotiation, and that means both sides should strive to get something ...


5

I would try to get out of it without signing anything. It doesn't matter if you don't expect to use what you did in the foreseeable future. Basically, when you enrolled in this PhD, everything you did was covered by some existing rules to which you agreed explicitly or implicitly when you entered the PhD program. Asking you to sign something now doesn't seem ...


6

You are being asked to sign a legal document. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer, if you really are interested in protecting your own self-interest. Even with regard to IP, your name should still appear on any resulting copyrights or patents, as the producer of the IP. You should not sign a document you are not comfortable with. You should certainly ...


2

I'm just repeating here what others have said already, mostly, but I will add it again to be sure. Don't sign anything. Not that the legal implications are terribly important anyway; but it will be an important psychological step to snap out of the strange state of mind you are in. You are not a serf beholden to some job you worked at for a few years. You ...


5

What's going to happen if you don't sign? If nothing much, then refer them back to the University's policy document on IP. I'm wondering why they need this. If it's not already covered by agreement then just say no. Either they own the IP and rights or they don't. If they don't then why do they think they have the right to demand it? Why assign to a ...


7

Don’t sign At least until you have had some proper advice. I haven’t seen the document and IANAL but there is a difference between what the University or PI might assert is its IP and what actually is. This matters because you say you still want to get a PhD and the work you have done in the last 4.5 years might be useful to you in that. You wouldn’t be the ...


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