Patric Hartmann
  • Member for 7 years, 5 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
  • Switzerland
How can I convince graduate students in China to not copy/paste from the Internet into their research papers?
58 votes

tl;dr The majority of students simply will not understand the academic view of plagiarism. There is only so much you can do to help them. At some point you simply cannot help them any further. There's ...

View answer
Difficult student would dispute every grade in the course and now wants letter of recommendation
27 votes

I'd happily write one! Many "complicated" people are that complicated to us because they think so differently to how we do it. We tend to gather people around us who are alike. That's, by far, not ...

View answer
What are strategies for minimizing student questions during exams?
3 votes

I find magu_'s approach the best if you have to proctor your own class. Our institution solved the issue by having exams proctored by non-academic personnel. Beside the obvious advantage that they ...

View answer
Is it acceptable to e-mail a professor at another university to ask for a meeting to discuss common research interests?
4 votes

I find it not only acceptable and common, as Dan Romik wrote, but very welcome and even fundamentally necessary for a successful academic career (for all parties involved!) and a research which really ...

View answer
Re-sending a rejected paper to the same conference next year
3 votes

Having to review the same paper a second time happened to me personally. we are a small phil. journal and thus have (so far) only a very limited pool of reviewers. On one hand the submitter might ...

View answer
Why do some instructors care so much about attendance?
1 votes

At least here in Switzerland there's one more reason (nobody mentioned yet...). The attendance is part of the credits you get for the course. Each point equals roughly 30 hours of work. Some courses ...

View answer
Is verbatim copying of short technical phrases without quotes but with citation considered plagiarism?
-3 votes

While in the above description we have specified a local algorithm as a function that maps local neighbourhoods to local outputs, we could equally well […] You can quote like this: author et al. [...

View answer
What do universities usually do with a student's graded final exams?
3 votes

After an exam was taken, the secretariat of our institution copies them and sends them to the lecturer in charge of it (some major exams require a second reviser). After grading them, the lecturers ...

View answer
Is this a legitimate excuse for missing an exam?
0 votes

The rule at my institution is simple: Either you get graded for the performance you showed in the exam or you get graded a 1 (worst grade). If you are seriously sick, you get a doctor's confirmation ...

View answer
Commercial product with the same functiality as my research project
1 votes

I am not familiar with your area but I do not see a problem here. Basically about every book you reference is not for free anyway. Much of the laboratory tools used in natural science are neither for ...

View answer
Is it OK to edit my undergraduate thesis results?
12 votes

Have you considered asking your supervisor for help in this case? That's what a supervisor, especially on undergraduate levels, is there for: Advising you, when you need it. I have supervised several ...

View answer
How to attract student attention in difficult/technical topics
7 votes

It seems obvious but: Make it come alive! My subject is something completely different (philosophy of religion). Under my professor's predecessor (I'm "only" TA), the subject had somewhat of a niche ...

View answer
How to decide whether the amount of study material provided to students is enough?
4 votes

At first I thought that this question is too opinion-based but I think some general rules can be worked out. However, I think that an answer is always depending on the field. I follow your numbering: ...

View answer
If I don't know whether a staff member has a PhD, should I address her as Dr. in my emails?
13 votes

In my opinion it strongly depends on the culture. In Switzerland we use solely "Herr"/"Frau" (Mr/Mrs) to address even professors. If you have a look at the history of the country you get an idea why ...

View answer
Do PhD courses in engineering fields in European non-English speaking countries require knowledge of the native language?
8 votes

I can tell from my wife's experiences who, as a native bilingual speaker (Chinese-English), tried to be admitted to Swiss universities: It doesn't work. For bachelor's and master's courses the local ...

View answer
Is it ethical to limit marks based upon past performance?
2 votes

It's very unethical in my opinion. I quickly explain my way of handling things when I examine students: Questions and answers for oral and written exams are set before the exam. For each question I ...

View answer
How to use data from a colleague who retired in my thesis without commiting fraud or plagiarism
1 votes

The simplest answer I can give you: Talk about it to your supervisor. Beyond that I can mention two examples from my own experience: In my master's thesis there's an acknowledgment to a colleague of ...

View answer
To whom is title "Professor Emeritus" given in the US?
6 votes

The others already made the basics clear (em. = retired), but I would like to add that the actual meaning of the title largely depends on the institution. I have been to the University of Zurich and ...

View answer
Should I apply for a PhD position with required programming skills which I do not have?
9 votes

Apply! That's how I got my first TA position (in another field though). I didn't have the required level of knowledge of certain areas but still applied. They trusted my abilities to read up on such ...

View answer
How should I handle students who ask questions that are "beyond the scope of the course" as a TA
4 votes

Write down the question: I always do this, even with questions I answer right away. It shows me the gaps in my teachings. By the students' questions I can adjust my material for the next time I teach ...

View answer
Can I force my professor to give me a copy of his powerpoint presentation?
6 votes

It is the student's own responsibility to take care that he has all the material he needs for review. Take notes and draw sketches, if he shows pictures. I am now almost half-way through my 4th ...

View answer
Why are [some] professors ambiguous about material that is actually tested on exams?
13 votes

There are several aspects to this: First of all: I don't know what questions I will use in the exam before I actually have written it - which may very well not have happened before the actual day of ...

View answer
On what factors is a dissertation approved
3 votes

It mostly depends on the university policy. Normally typoes are accepted to a certain extent as especially foreign students are not expected to manage the language perfectly. Omissions on the other ...

View answer
Should I report an accepted PhD thesis in which the literature review is copied verbatim from sources?
8 votes

My institution has a commitee in charge of this, does yours not have anything similar? There you can report such findings (even anonymously since the evidence is not depending on the person providing ...

View answer
When are professors most free during a semester?
3 votes

Oh, they are busy... Let me give you an insight to my professor's and my own schedule (I'm lecturer, not yet regular professor as I am still lacking the habilitation thesis). We have a short meeting ...

View answer
Why are some professors critical of even casual use of Wikipedia?
0 votes

I, as a lecturer, use Wikipedia often when I need a quick introduction to a certain topic. Mostly when I decide on which texts my students shall read for a seminar, I start on Wikipedia. There you ...

View answer
What can I do when my transcripts have mistakes?
6 votes

Personal experience at the infamous university of Zurich: Get as many people involved as possible. This is a shame for a university, they don't want people to know. I had a mistake in my transcript (...

View answer
How detrimental is involvement in politics to a scientific career?
0 votes

A recent scandal at a Swiss university shows clearly, that political involvement can even be detrimental to a career in natural sciences. As the whole story I'm going to tell is highly political (and ...

View answer
Is it fair to punish absent students with a one-question exam?
1 votes

At my institution we have a strict "no-absence" policy. If you can't attend a lecture for whatever reason, you must apply for a leave to the dean. Failing to do so may result in failing the respective ...

View answer
What is life like for Western-raised/trained academics who are faculty in countries with extremely tight governmental control?
17 votes

It's an interesting question and I can give you an answer from personal experience as I studied in China for two semesters at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law. I do not know if ...

View answer