49

Keep all paper certificates always. Depending on what job(s) you apply for, and whether they require a certain degree, you may be asked to present the paper version. I have been asked in my last few jobs to present the paper version (an electronic copy was only accepted as a temporary measure while I tried to find the paper one), though this is in academia ...


46

Not really an answer to what you asked, but: Look beyond grad school as well. Most math PhDs do not actually stay in academia but end up in industry in one way or another. Nearly every job mathematicians will eventually take on outside academic pure math research will benefit from having computer programming experience. So there may not be an advantage to ...


43

An former instructor of mine once told a story about the school where he earned his undergraduate degree. A decade or so after he graduated, the school completely ceased operations after enrollment languished, the school went bankrupt, and a large portion of the campus was damaged beyond repair by a windstorm. He has protected his original diploma like gold ...


39

In many parts of pure mathematics you use software to calculate examples that a while ago you could do only with pencil and paper. That's particularly true in combinatorics (my field) and number theory. There is a tradeoff. Sometimes you learn from the slow process that forces you to see what happens at each step - like looking at a program with a debugger. ...


30

Universities that I have attended have always had specific policies for exam times. Generally, these policies required midterm exams to occur during normal class periods, and set specific final exam windows according to the time of the class. This helped to avoid conflicts, because everyone with, say, a lecture at 10 am on Mondays would have their final exam ...


27

In addition to possibly having to present the diplomas for verification upon hiring in certain jobs, you may also be asked to present them (or verified copies) when applying for visas for certain countries. So yes, keep them!


21

This is clearly a judgment call, but upon reflection my advice is for you not to read the letter. There is a tiny chance that the student wrote -- presumably unintentionally -- something that you won't like, but that is really going to hit hard in the present context. (Long ago a faculty member wrote a recommendation letter for me and it got accidentally ...


10

It is common at many universities to have late exams if a class is taught several times in different sections at different times throughout the week, but the exam is common between the different sections. In those cases, you have to find (i) a common time that works for the students of all sections, (ii) one or a small number of rooms where you can ...


10

What should I expect to happen? You will not have to teach and you will stop being paid. Though, replacing a TA mid-semester is pretty difficult, so I suspect this outcome is less likely than you think. More likely, the professor will request that you not be assigned to their classes in future (which is probably a win-win). To your specific concerns: ...


9

Let me make a (strong) suggestion that you broaden your search to include some schools down to perhaps the 50th ranked university. Don't neglect the ivies, but Stony Brook as a "safety school" is probably too ambitious if you don't want to be utterly disappointed. Let the school you apply to do the conversion and don't worry about it. It is what it ...


8

This is not normal. Moreover, the professor’s explanation that he chose this time because it’s the only time when all the students are “free” is also illogical, since he clearly didn’t ask your opinion about whether you are “free” between 8:30-11 pm on the night he did schedule the exam for. If he had, it would have been completely proper for you to say you ...


7

Maybe, maybe not. Ignoring some of the more obvious expectations such as LaTeX, you might consider becoming familiar with Pari as well as Mathematica programming and Sage/Python. Apart from that the cognitive development that comes from learning both procedural and declarative programming can be fruitful in unexpected ways.


7

Firstly, no, there is nothing wrong with having many papers under review at a given time. This situation is quite common for practicing academics; some papers find a home reasonably quickly and others sometimes need to be shopped around a bit before finding a home for them. Papers can take several years to be accepted for publication, and academics are ...


7

There is no fix to the issue that works in a time scale of 1.5 months. A typical research paper probably takes 6 months to write, even if most of the results are already there, primarily because (i) it takes time to actually write 15-20 good pages, and (ii) one always realizes in the course of writing that something isn't quite right yet, was correctly ...


6

First, kudos for being in the running for the award, and for earning this kind of student response. I would thank her and decline the offer because it makes you uncomfortable. You could tell her that or just say as per Pete Clark's answer that it's just not done in academia. In an analogous but not identical situation: when I a write letter of recommendation ...


6

It is perfectly normal—and certainly permitted by law—for colleges to require students to purchase things from third-party vendors. Textbooks are the classic case, although there are clear differences between the situation with traditional textbooks and purely online resources. (Physical textbooks can be obtained in multiple ways, including for free via ...


6

Computers are sometimes used to solve complex mathematical problems because it's impractical for humans to enumerate all the cases and combinations. Famously, the Four Color Theorem was proved using a computer. There's a list of proofs that used computers in this Wikipedia article: Computer-assisted proof And while the eventual proof of Fermat's Last Theorem ...


5

Long-term usefulness aside - during your PhD, you might have to teach a class that is not pure math and may require you to know how to program...


5

As pointed out by other answers, in Europe it is common that one has to present relevant degrees either as an original, or a notarized copy (or a certified translation of one of the former). In fact, this can go significantly further than the last relevant degree - e.g. in Germany, it is not uncommon to ask for high-school diplomas even for postdoc jobs (in ...


5

In almost all cases the answer would be yes. You will cause a bit of disruption, perhaps, but for most programs it would be minor. If there are any contractual obligations you have to ask to be released, but that would be unusual unless you have already been given some benefits. If the program is a large one, as many are, the disruption to the program would ...


4

I will relay my own experience with a similar situation. I was TA for a lab class one semester. In the past I was TA for the associated theory class. To make a long story short, at some point the TAs for the lab class were asked to grade exams for the theory class, which I objected to as not my responsibility. I recall it was stated that the theory class TA ...


4

Having a familiarity with programming languages is useful in pure math too. It is easy to observe some patterns by plotting a suitable graph. For example in number theory, if we are studying a particular type of prime number and we want to see how they are distributed, the first step I would do is to plot the counting function to get an intuition which can ...


4

Anyone requiring a paper copy of a college diploma is also going to accept a certified copy of your transcript (which will include any degrees earned). Alternatively, you can request a replacement copy of your diploma. The above suggestions will incur a fee (a quick search indicates in the range of $20). So, if you do not anticipate any immediate need, ...


4

I live in Texas and I used to escape the Summer heat by teaching a course at the University of Calgary every Summer. I had to present my diploma at the border to get my work visa each year. That's just Canada. How much more this would go for less neighborly countries.


4

Yes. They may not be happy with your decision and it's possible you may regret it later, but yes, you can decline at the last minute here in the US. They can't force you to do the PhD if you've decided you don't want to do it.


4

I cannot speak to potential immigration issues but yes, absolutely you should do this. As long as you clearly communicate your intentions, and perhaps your reasoning, to your would-be department, there is no issue and they will probably be grateful. If you are not interested in doing a PhD then, trust me, both they and you will be much better off if you go ...


4

Just an alternative answer here. You may be able to defer your acceptance which basically means that you let the department know that you have been employed and would like to delay your entrance to the program. This changes from university to university so make sure to ask. I think this choice lets you have enough flexibility since you may be able to enter ...


4

Let me suggest that you make an appointment to visit the head of department at some "interesting" department at the university. Ask for a meeting to discuss your future briefly. In the meeting ask to be put in touch with a professor or two, preferably in robotics, preferably educated outside India, so that they have some foreign experience. Then ...


3

Practical programming experience is very useful for any high-educated worker that spends most of their time behind a computer, and for a PhD-student in particular. Why? Automation As a PhD student, you will increasing likely be working with software systems in order to do basic tasks such as writing, literature search, interacting with students, having ...


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