Chris Leary
  • Member for 7 years, 11 months
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Should religious (or other kind of) titles be used when citing authors?
4 votes

The only case of which I am aware is in the acknowledgements that Hungerford made in his book Algebra. He references "Raymond Swords, S.J.," a Jesuit priest at Holy Cross. So, if you know ...

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Changing a mathematical field once one has a tenure
3 votes

This can be a tough situation. If you're in a research position with pressure to publish, it can be very difficult, unless you have some background in the new field or fall in with a research group ...

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Is this tenured professor plagiarizing his lectures?
4 votes

I have a couple of observations from personal experience. As a grad student, I audited a course in functional analysis. We had a required text for the course. Each day, the professor came into class, ...

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Is using the phrase "... is left as an exercise for the reader" considered good style in academic papers/theses?
7 votes

I guess this is not the popular opinion, but I have to agree with Dave Clarke in that I do not find the phrase in the least offensive. Even in the absence of such a phrase, many papers in mathematics ...

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Does having much knowledge in other branches help one's research in mathematics in one's own field?
0 votes

Here are two anecdotes from my own career. I wrote a thesis in summability theory, despite a background in algebra. In that thesis I used the 5-lemma to deduce an isomorphism between two subalgebras ...

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What is the best way to deal with cranks?
16 votes

I agree with @aeismail that you should try to avoid the crank. That may not be possible though. Underwood Dudley wrote a book "Mathematical Cranks" (an MAA press book) about the subject. He has a ...

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Why do students go for a PhD even when chances of getting academic jobs on its completion are slim?
4 votes

One might as well ask why artists paint, why poets or writers write, why people pursue professional sports. In each case, the chance of "success" is quite small. People who do these things have ...

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How to silence the voice that tells you you're being financially irresponsible by spending 4 to 6 years doing a PhD?
1 votes

Getting a PhD requires a lot of perseverance. Let me share an anecdote about my son. He wanted to be an actor in musical theatre. We were at a meeting at the school he eventually decided to attend and ...

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What incentive does a professor have to allow a student to enroll in a course that is already full?
1 votes

I usually based my decision on how many students I already had enrolled. If the cap for the course was 25 or less, I would usually let a student or two in. I assume you are enrolling for Fall 2017, ...

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If I want to become a professor, do universities care what field my PhD. is in or just that I have a PhD?
3 votes

Let me offer some perspective from a small "u" university, i.e, primarily undergraduate with a small number of graduate programs, none at the doctoral level. We had several faculty migrate from math ...

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Why don't universities reveal the extra time they give to students with disabilities when taking exams?
3 votes

I will pose the following question: What would you do in the case of a faculty member who gives all students unlimited time on all exams, gives them help on the exam if they need it, and allows them ...

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How do really talented people in academia think about people who are less capable than them?
13 votes

Here's an anecdote from my own career. I just retired from a small, private, liberal arts school. At my school, most of the students think most of their math profs are geniuses (we're not). A few ...

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Some students giggle at me while I teach!
27 votes

In my experience, there are some students who just cannot take class seriously. They may not even be laughing at you. Rather, they may be talking with a classmate and find what they are discussing ...

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What is the timeline for hiring tenure-track Professors during the Summer?
3 votes

My first official act as Chairman of my department was to conduct a summer job search. The search process was the normal one: post the position; decide which candidates to interview; interview; make ...

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Do some or most universities allow retiring faculty to retain their faculty email accounts?
4 votes

I just retired from a private, liberal arts college. I may keep my e-mail account on the condition that I use it at least once each year, a pretty nominal requirement in my opinion.

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Should referees assume that authors will see the full report if their paper is rejected?
16 votes

One would expect to see the full referee's report. You obviously approach the job in a conscientious manner, and the author could benefit from your remarks. However, from my own experience, it appears ...

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Is it okay to report classmates cheating on exams?
18 votes

I'm a college professor and I have very little tolerance for cheating. Yes, I would like to know if it's going on, and, yes, I expect students who witness it to tell me so I can take preventive action....

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Should expository papers (e.g., in American Math Monthly) be listed in CV under Publications?
4 votes

I work at a small, four year, liberal arts school. Here, the answer would be most definitely yes. At schools higher up the food chain, I would suspect you should still list it. How much importance ...

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Can I call an assistant professor "Professor"?
15 votes

This is not an answer but an anecdote about my current university. For whatever reason, someone decided that the faculty with Ph.D.'s should be addressed as Dr., whereas those with only a masters ...

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What can I do if I find errors in someone's thesis?
4 votes

There are at least two errors in my thesis. One I corrected in preparing a portion of the thesis for publication. The other remains unresolved, but I believe it can be patched up. I'm sure there are ...

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What is life as "Head of Department ____" like?
25 votes

I had the great (mis)fortune of being a department chair for four years. This was at a small, not prestigious, liberal arts college. We use the "weak" chair model as mentioned by Bill Barth (which I ...

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What to do when you discover a mistake in the archived copy of your PhD thesis?
2 votes

I had at least one error in my thesis (that I know of). As with yours, it was minor and affected even less of the paper. I found it when I was preparing a paper for publication. Fortunately, I was ...

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Do teaching evaluations lead to lower standards in class?
6 votes

I can offer only personal experience on this topic. However, I can say that I read the literature on course evaluations rather extensively in preparation for a past application for promotion. What I ...

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What rate of faculty turnover is healthy?
4 votes

When I was actively in the job market, I noticed a small number of schools that seemed to have multiple openings every year. It made me wonder what was going on at these places, but I had no way of ...

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Can reviewing papers help increase your credibility as a researcher?
8 votes

I was once asked to referee a paper for a well-known journal and accepted because I was flattered that someone took a chance on me. I must have done a pretty good job because I ended up doing more ...

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How to find less-competitive faculty positions in the US universities?
13 votes

The U.S. academic job market (at least in my field, mathematics) is very competitive, regardless of the institution and its perceived quality. Now, competition comes in various flavors. We have a lot ...

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What should you do if you spotted a non-trivial error in a highly cited paper?
4 votes

My advice is pretty much the same as everyone else's: talk to your advisor, go over the suspected problem point with him; if there is no resolution, reach out to others in the department (your advisor ...

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Is it good practice to let students consult their text materials during exams?
Accepted answer
14 votes

I am in mathematics, so my experience will be different from yours. What I have found with tests on which I have allowed students to use their text or notes is that the students have not prepared as ...

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Postdoctoral fellowship -- what is it about?
6 votes

Vadim makes some valid points. The one I would amplify on is how good a fit the school with the assistant professorship is as far as your career goals are concerned. You've got to be careful. When I ...

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