261

One really wants to say that the vice-chair is an idiot, but I will refrain. The policy is idiotic in any case. I've taught at places in which nearly every student excels on every measure I could devise. Why would I want to pit one student against another for the purpose of an artificial "average"? They weren't average. If you have the twenty best people (...


182

"We encourage all participants - male and female" There is no need to look into it further than that. They encourage you to come and you want to go. I don't see any reason why you wouldn't want to apply.


128

Put the slides that contain the proofs after the last slide and have links on the relevant slides so you can jump to the proof slide and back to the next one. That way no-one will know if you skip the proofs, but they could see you click the link to jump to a proof if you have the time.


123

Yes, you are definitely welcome to attend. Looking at previous workshops in the "Young Women in..." series, you can see from the photos that some of the participants appear to be male.


110

If somebody asks a dumb question, they're not going to feel good about the interaction whatever happens. If possible, get them back on the right track but avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as sarcasm and move on as quickly as possible. The most likely thing is either that the questioner has missed something obvious or misunderstood something ...


103

Keep asking the dumb questions! It is better to look like a fool, than to be one. You worry that many speakers are annoyed at the `elementary' questions. Some speakers do it because they are stressed about public talking, and any question upsets them. For some, communication of mathematics is not the aim of the talk; they give it because it is a condition ...


92

Not only should you definitely go if you would like to, but you and other readers can use this as an interesting moment (and this is not meant as an attack on the original poster in any way) to reflect on the fact that women have experienced this 'but won't I feel like the odd one out' kind of feeling ever since they were first "technically permitted" at ...


88

I think you should be worried that you and your colleagues might have to go without pizza the rest of the semester if you've already (unknowingly) burned through the budget, and not much else. You could also worry that in the future you'll have to go through a more formal approval process, which will probably loosen once whoever is involved in the approval ...


88

It means it's held around lunchtime and they aren't going to be providing lunch, but you are welcome to bring your own and eat during the event. So the event is somewhat informal.


86

The first thing to note here is that sleeping in such situations is often not a voluntary action, but a physiologically unavoidable response to the situation the body is in - many people die every year after falling asleep at the wheel of a car. I don't think you'd describe the results of that on other people in the car as "rude". In general, if you are in ...


85

Before asking a question, ask yourself the following: If I get a nice detailed and understandable answer to this question, will I be able to understand a significant part of the rest of the talk? If the answer is "no", then you should probably not ask the question even if there really is some ambiguity that could be cleared up, because chances are that ...


83

I think there are basically two cases here: The student is presenting or leading discussion on your work as part of a "journal club" sort of series, and the abstract is your abstract because they're talking about your paper. The student is baldly and ridiculously plagiarizing. I think a good way to approach this is to assume case #1, and make contact with ...


80

From a mathematical point of view, the problem that they are trying to solve with a policy that attempts to enforce a maximum/minimum average class value is the wrong problem. Statistically, you will have plenty of variation from class to class as to good classes and bad classes. If the general guideline is that you want an "average" student to receive an 85,...


78

My attitude to life is to spare my mental capacities to things I can affect and change. Yes, it is annoying to see people at a workshop not paying attention. No, there is nothing I can do in the moment that would (i) change their behavior, while (ii) not make me look petty. So, disengage from these feelings. Focus on those members of your audience who pay ...


78

An incomplete list: Because they're invited to give a talk, and their coauthor(s) aren't. Because their coauthor(s) can't afford to travel to every talk they give on that piece of research. Because their coauthor(s) are busy with other things. Because this way they and their coauthor(s) can disseminate their ideas more widely, by giving more talks for the ...


77

There is no such thing as a dumb question is a good adage for the classroom, where our mission is to teach students, and we have a number of weeks to accomplish the learning objectives. We use this maxim to encourage students to ask questions rather than fall behind. However, there is such a thing as an annoying question can be an equally true corollary, ...


75

I'll offer a dissenting point of view. I often use my mobile device (smartphone, laptop, whatever) during a talk - because I'm taking notes on it! I used to write my notes on paper, then transcribe them to my giant brain dump TXT file (very easy to search through, which is why scanning is not a solution)... until I noticed that I always put off the ...


64

I personally find that sit vs. stand strongly depends on the degree of formality and interactivity of a presentation. When the presenter stands, it signals a strong differential between the roles of presenter and audience (who sit). This generally creates a much more formal atmosphere and means that the audience will not contribute to the discussion except ...


55

We are in full agreement that there are in fact dumb (or, more accurately, non-productive) questions, and I do not think that it is your responsibility as a speaker to make the asker of the question feel better about himself to the expense of the rest of the audience. When this sort of thing happens to me, I try to answer accurately, politely and to the ...


54

In most of the departments that I have known, the professors do indeed give seminars within their own departments. The few exceptions I have known are either fairly small or else have some sort of problem with their seminar culture. Now, it is certainly true that most talks in any department will generally be given by outsiders---there's a lot of incentives ...


52

I would say that you should always go to seminar, unless you have some very compelling reason not to go (you are away, you are working on an experiment, you are trying to finish writing your thesis, etc.). There are four reasons: Scientific courtesy. To travel somewhere and give a talk to the 10 people who show up (5 of whom you already knew) is really ...


48

If you are presenting a topic and the audience do not take advantage of your experience and knowledge, it is their loss and not yours. However, two things came to my mind about this topic: Make Your Presentation More Interactive: I'm not saying to bring big amplifiers and blast music and throw free t-shirts at the crowd, however you can engage the audience ...


48

The average immunology paper has 11 authors; so does the average molecular biology paper. Genetics papers average 21.6 authors. High energy and nuclear physics papers, 226.8. In many cases talks will cover multiple papers, so there could easily be 50 co-authors involved. In many cases, these include authors from many different institutions, countries, and ...


47

Since the OP specifically mentions the case of job talks and none of the other answers do, let me concentrate on that in my answer. 1) In a job talk, unless you specifically know otherwise, you should assume that everyone in the audience is someone who could have a direct hand in hiring you. In the job talk I gave at my current university, a graduate ...


47

I think you should approach the question slightly differently - don't ask whether more people will come to your presentation because there are refreshments. Instead, ask whether refreshments will enhance the overall experience. In my experience, refreshments help to keep the group together after the event is over, which in turn allows for people to mingle, ...


45

Based on your description of what took place, it sounds like the reason most of the students will get a grade between 90 and 100 is because according to your best judgment they genuinely deserve it. If that is indeed your belief, you don’t need to do anything other than to publish the grades as they are. After all, the department charged you with teaching a ...


43

As an economist I can rant for hours about people's ulterior motives... as a speaker I can tell you that this reaction springs in me spontaneously, when the question has good timing with what I am presenting, meaning that it is a good opening for the next issue (or next aspect of the current issue) I was about to start speaking on. It makes a presentation ...


43

I have recently finished a PhD in Particle Physics. Over my time as a student, particularly early on in my studies I frequently encountered this problem. I would start by pointing out that, generally, you won't be the only student in the room and there will almost certainly be others thinking of the same 'stupid question' but not asking. Many times these ...


38

Some professors are comfortable having students call them by their first names. You should wait until individual professors let you know that this is acceptable to them before you do so. However, others are not comfortable with this. So, to be on the safe side, I believe that it is best to refer to them by their formal title and last name during a public ...


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