keshlam
  • Member for 8 years, 1 month
  • Last seen more than a month ago
  • Massachusetts, USA
How do I tell my supervisor his idea is incorrect?
63 votes

The safest approach is always to make it a question about you rather than about them. "I'm confused. You said... but I had previously read/been told/seen ... instead. The two seem to conflict; can you ...

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What can I do when my transcripts have mistakes?
39 votes

If you can't wait for the school, and the professor agrees that this was his error, ask him for a letter saying so (on school letterhead) which you can attach to the transcript. Ditto for the school ...

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Is it possible to work from my parents' home on a postdoc?
Accepted answer
28 votes

Only your school and your department and your group can tell you what their expectations are. Ask them. But face-to-face networking with others is hugely valuable both for your current tasks and for ...

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Is it reasonable to request an exemption from certain degree requirements?
20 votes

Exemption from a humanities requirement generally needs a much better argument than "I have two additional classes I want to squeeze in" -- more like "I've published a novel; can we count that against ...

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How to thank a teacher in a thesis?
Accepted answer
15 votes

Well, what I wrote was partly humor, partly serious: "I would like to thank: Prof. [my adviser] for his advice and support throughout the thesis work, Prof. [] for his patience as I mis-...

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How much duplication is permissible in letters of recommendation?
15 votes

There isn't much creativity involved in most recommendation letters. And frankly, that doesn't matter. The important thing to a school or employer is that the individual who signed the letter believes ...

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Why do academics frequently write very short email replies?
14 votes

E-mail is its own medium, and in some ways is closer to spoken conversation or text-messaging than to letter writing. Many experienced E-mail users dispense with formalisms and basically just write ...

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Why would an author forward my inquiry about a paper to all its other authors?
10 votes

Why should this be scary? It was presumably forwarded because it was an interesting or amusing question. Hopefully the former.

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Is it possible that a school only has one student enrolled in a particular undergraduate degree program?
10 votes

Possible but uncommon. The liberal-arts departments at MIT, for example, generally only have one or two students actually planning to get a degree in that area (usually, of course, as a double degree ...

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A professor of mine pronounces an author's name incorrectly, what should I do?
Accepted answer
10 votes

Ideally, find your professor during office hours, and say something like "Hey, this has been confusing me... I'm seeing all these references to one pronunciation and you've been using another. Is ...

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How can I sell independently created software to my university?
9 votes

If you have previously given the software to them for free, with no license agreement in place, I don't think you can charge them for continuing to use those copies. You could charge for support, but ...

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Is it acceptable to ask how a professor would like to be addressed through email?
9 votes

It is almost never impolite to ask how to be polite.

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Is it appropriate for a TA to say "My Students"?
9 votes

"My students" is not a possessive. It's "the students whom I am responsible for." As such, it's wholly appropriate.

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As a Ph.D. advisor, how do you feel about taking on students with diagnosed depression or bipolar disorder?
8 votes

Diagnosed and under treatment is better than undiagnosed, actually. But even without treatment, many folks have developed coping strategies for handling these conditions. The question isn't whether ...

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Why does art history exist as a distinct discipline separate from the discipline of history?
8 votes

Music History as an area of study certainly exists. Whether under that name or not will depend on how a particular school arranges its departments. Your not having heard of it says more about your ...

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Tattoos in the Workplace
8 votes

The answer is, unfortunately: It Depends. There are indeed people who will judge you on a tat or piercing or other body mod, just as there are people who will judge you if you come to work in ripped ...

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Is it good practice to let students consult their text materials during exams?
8 votes

The real question is what you're attempting to test. If the proposed notes are material which the students are going to need "off the cuff" -- data and operations which are absolutely basic to the ...

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How to best approach literature with low information content for good retention
7 votes

Last-resort, completely-silly trick: When I had to force myself to read through a particularly awful textbook, I decided to read it aloud to myself in a series of silly voices. That actually did make ...

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Should I challenge my professor who thinks he's always right?
7 votes

Never challenge a lecturer. Ask. If it's something that isn't directly related to PRECISELY the point they're currently teaching, ask during office hours rather than in front of the whole class. ...

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Why do American universities receive lots of endowments?
6 votes

Another factor may be that, since in the US the student is very aware of how much the official costs have been offset by scholarships and/or loans through the school itself, many of us feel an ...

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Why do tenured professors still publish in pay-walled venues?
6 votes

Since folks objected, let me simplify my answer to the key point: Because the journals they want to publish in decided to paywall their websites. To change this, you can create an equally (or more) ...

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On agreeing on length of PhD program in advance and three year studies
6 votes

If anyone knew in advance how long it would take to produce meaningful research results, it wouldn't be research worthy of a PhD Adding something worthwhile to human knowledge takes as long as it ...

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How do academics find time to write books?
6 votes

I've also seen quite a number of textbooks which were originally a professor's lecture notes. After teaching the same class for some number of years, refining the lectures and the notes each time, ...

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How should I communicate that I do not hold the views expressed in a paper I wrote
5 votes

I'd like to point out that the traditional debate form often involves defending a proposition that you don't agree with, as may the traditional essay form. A brief statement at the start that this is ...

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Is it important to dress in formal clothing for a postdoc interview?
Accepted answer
5 votes

Standard advice for any job interview, academic or not: Unless you think quirky would definitely be to your advantage, dress fairly conservatively. It's easier for interviewers to think of you in ...

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Conference is on the Yom Kippur holiday
5 votes

Tell them exactly what you told us. Scheduling disasters happen, whether due to illness or unexpected conflicts. Someone else in your group might be able to attend in your stead, present for you, and ...

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Which e-mail address should I give for a recommender in an application?
5 votes

Ask them which address they want these to arrive on.

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I have credits from three different graduate programs - can't i combine them into one degree?
5 votes

That's entirely up to the institution which you're hoping will grant the degree. Every school has its own policy on what kinds of "transfer credits" it will accept, from what schools, with what grades,...

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Meaning of "Degree of approval" in a recommendation letter
Accepted answer
4 votes

I would presume that what they're asking for is a tl;dr-style summary of your letter into a single sentence: I emphatically recommend this candidate. I believe they will be top-quality students and ...

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Is it possible to obtain a Master's degree without Bachelor's degree?
4 votes

I know of someone who got into a graduate program without technically finishing his Bachelor's, and then repeated that when getting admitted for PhD. However, this didn't save him much work; he still ...

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