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103 votes

Examples of harmless mistakes (on purpose) in submitted papers

You're not the first one to come up with this idea. In case it's not obvious, I recommend against doing this: Having stupid mistakes in your submission makes you look stupid. It wastes the reviewer'...
eykanal's user avatar
  • 48.5k
80 votes
Accepted

Is this statistic about how many Latinos/Hispanics have a PhD in the USA correct?

This information came from a tweet I shared to express my excitement for finishing my PhD and, in the process, increase by 1 the number of underrepresented minorities in the US with a doctoral degree. ...
Ileana Freytes-Ortiz's user avatar
66 votes

Is this statistic about how many Latinos/Hispanics have a PhD in the USA correct?

The US Census Bureau gathers data on educational attainment of people living in the US, broken down by race, sex, age, and other categories. They specifically include "Hispanic origin" (though they ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

Who said that one should change one’s direction of research every seven years?

I think I found it! Richard Hamming, mathematician and Turing Award recipient said it in a 1986 seminar at Bell Labs. The talk was titled "You and Your Research", and a transcript is ...
Anyon's user avatar
  • 26.8k
48 votes
Accepted

Is it a good idea to respond at all if a person I never heard of is asking for a reference letter?

It has become fairly common in the last few years for hackers and spammers to conduct phishing attempts by emailing university staff/faculty and pretending to be students, while asking for letters of ...
djohn's user avatar
  • 3,905
44 votes

Examples of harmless mistakes (on purpose) in submitted papers

This is a terrible idea. Just a couple of days ago, I reviewed a paper with a lot of confusing descriptions and elaborate mathematics. It was not clear that the explanatory sections were going to be ...
Buzz's user avatar
  • 20.6k
35 votes

Grading by assigning points to exercises

If good students who understand the topic well are getting bad grades because they don't do all the problems, you should think very carefully about whether you've made the exam too long. If this is ...
Peter Shor 's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to ask references for their opinions on other faculty candidates?

In Academia, you do not disclose who has applied for a job unless you have the candidate's permission. Since academics work in teams on long-term projects, sometimes they have to keep their job ...
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

Is there any research showing a correlation between wealth and academic performance?

In the US, the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 selected a "nationally representative cohort" of 10th grade (~16 year old) students in 2002 and followed up on them in 2012 to see how far ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70k
31 votes

Health aspects of White board vs black board

The only type of board that doesn't affect the air in the classroom is a digital whiteboard (aka a smartboard). If you're using an actual white board or black board be sure that your room is well ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 940
27 votes
Accepted

Clarifications on American graduate school for an European student

The rationale is because graduate programs in the US are generally structured assuming the incoming student does not have a masters, and got a bachelors in the US, which can sometimes involve an ...
Ben Webster's user avatar
25 votes

Are open access papers read by a larger readership than paywalled papers?

This answers is not exactly what you ask for — you ask for readership, but most of the research has focused on citations. The two are, of course, related, and the answer seems to be a pretty clear yes....
user0721090601's user avatar
23 votes

How many professors are children of professors?

I've noticed this too. There is a longstanding literature (mostly in sociology) about social mobility that looks at parents' and children's occupations. Beller and Hout (2006) report that father-to-...
cactus_pardner's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Global number of publications over time

I found an archived version of the 2018 STM Report, which is now available directly from STM again. Among other statistics, it has this plot of the scientific output from 1975-2018 and four different ...
Anyon's user avatar
  • 26.8k
23 votes

Is it okay to ask references for their opinions on other faculty candidates?

Stick with the reference you were given Are you going to track down ancillary references for all the candidates? You want to be as fair as possible in your faculty hiring. Getting extra references ...
sevensevens's user avatar
  • 7,481
21 votes

How much does it cost to make a MOOC universally accessible, as defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990?

The question asks for studies or research, and I don't know of any, but I do have some first-hand experience. Meeting the Section 508* requirements for Web pages used in such a course is effectively ...
Bob Brown's user avatar
  • 27k
21 votes

Examples of harmless mistakes (on purpose) in submitted papers

This interesting strategy has been identified in a programming context, where it has been dubbed "the duck technique" (see this post on the Coding Horror blog): This started as a piece of Interplay ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 69.3k
20 votes

Interactive papers

There was such a journal for machine learning: https://distill.pub/about/. But it was put on indefinite hiatus due to burnout of the editorial team. Format problem Perhaps most generally you have the ...
Felix B.'s user avatar
  • 707
18 votes
Accepted

Thanking professor with dinner delivery

I would avoid giving food-- especially a full meal-- to a professor, unless you know them very well. This is because you may not know their tastes or dietary requirements; for instance, unwittingly ...
astronat supports the strike's user avatar
18 votes

Is this statistic about how many Latinos/Hispanics have a PhD in the USA correct?

So, I did a run using Census data, but a few clarifications (which some people have pointed out, but just to bring it all together): Census asks separate questions about a person's race (e.g., white, ...
raheem's user avatar
  • 181
17 votes
Accepted

Where can I find hard data on students' reasons for being students?

This is an active area of inquiry in US academia, as market research for admissions departments and also as part of the larger investigation into student "success". Our dean likes to remind us that ...
1006a's user avatar
  • 3,717
17 votes

Is it a good idea to respond at all if a person I never heard of is asking for a reference letter?

It doesn't really matter whether you ignore the request or reply with a negative response. You do not know this person, they may or may not have any actual relation to a course you didn't give. I ...
Jeroen's user avatar
  • 8,236
16 votes

Is there a better measure of undergraduate academic performance than GPA?

I believe that there cannot be any single numerical statistic or small set of such statistics that summarizes the nature of a student well. The first reason for my assessment is that there are too ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 189k
15 votes

Clarifications on American graduate school for an European student

In US programs I know about, e.g. UC Berkeley, there are preliminary exams (typically taken after the 1st year), on a broad range of topics, and qualifying exams, on the intended area of the PhD. ...
Dima Pasechnik's user avatar
15 votes

Who said that one should change one’s direction of research every seven years?

I am sure many scholars came up with this piece of advice. This is an excerpt from an interview with Ludvig Faddeev published in the newspaper of Saint Petersburg State University, № 5 (3791), 30.03....
Michael_1812's user avatar
  • 4,490
15 votes

Interactive papers

A possibility would be to provide, in addition to the paper, code that the readers could interact with. URL to the code could be provided directly into the paper (i.e. in a "Data availability&...
Camille Gontier's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

What is the effect of background music in educational videos on the learning outcome?

See Moreno, Roxana, and Richard E. Mayer. "A coherence effect in multimedia learning: The case for minimizing irrelevant sounds in the design of multimedia instructional messages." Journal of ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 109k
14 votes

Where can I find hard data on students' reasons for being students?

It's quite likely that students entertain a collection of motivations (and de-motivators) rather than just one, so if such data exist they would probably be highly specific (to particular regions, ...
lithic's user avatar
  • 257
14 votes

What research explains political attitudes of academics?

I really do not think we are going to get to any causal relationship here. One thing you might want to consider is the link between IQ and politics. People with higher IQ (generally) tend to be more ...
Dr. Thomas C. King's user avatar

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