Mark Joshi
  • Member for 6 years, 11 months
  • Last seen more than 4 years ago
Two years into my PhD program, and Mom is dying of cancer. Should I tell my advisor about it?
44 votes

A student in our program took a year's leave to look after his mother while she died of cancer. I am sure that anyone who thought of it, thought more of him not less of him for it. You should always ...

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How to politely decline the university medal?
19 votes

hmm, I went to a high school which had no academic prizes because the head thought they were wrong. I received a prize for being top of my year as an undergrad at a well-known English university. I ...

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Will I look bad if I'm never in my office as a graduate student?
17 votes

i had a terrible office for the first 3 years of my phd. I spent some time there initially. I eventually decided it was much smarter to use it to dump my stuff and then worked in the departmental ...

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How good do I actually have to be to get into a top graduate program from an average undergraduate program?
16 votes

well I'm an MIT pure math PhD. I published my first paper when I was 27 : a couple of years after getting the PhD! Very few people has published anything before their PhD and their first paper ...

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What are some good ways to figure out one's interests in mathematics, before applying to PhD programs?
14 votes

Try reading the Princeton Companion to Mathematics. The editor insisted that the articles were actually comprehensible! The fundamental problem in selecting research areas is that how an area looks ...

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What are some examples of negative effects on a career for boycotting Elsevier journals?
11 votes

well it depends on your situation. Consider the following, suppose journals are categorized into A*, A, B, C. Your prospects for pay and promotion are directly affected by how many papers you publish ...

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How to ask dumb questions
9 votes

Unfortunately most attendees at most pure maths seminars do not understand most of the talk. A good talk aims to make the first third comprehensible to phd students, second third to faculty, last ...

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Pure math field for PhD when planning to go into industry
8 votes

It's hard to say much without more concrete info about which fields you are talking about. I switched from geometric analysis as academic to quantitative finance in industry pretty easily. But it ...

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Is there a place in academia for someone who compulsively solves every problem on their own?
7 votes

Obsessiveness, independence, originality, and a compulsion to work things out for yourself seems to summarize your self description. These sound like ideal properties for a wannabe researcher to me. ...

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Etiquette when a student attends a conference with his/her supervisor
6 votes

you are both there to network -- that means he want to talk people other than you, and he expects you to talk to people other than him.

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Is it true that a full Ph.D. is a disadvantage for technical positions in the private sector?
6 votes

I worked as a quant in a bank for a while. It is very hard even to get an interview if you don't have a PhD in a quantitative subject. The worst signal on a cv was an unfinished PhD since it marked ...

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If you know a family member who is much more qualified and capable in mathematics than you are, should find another field of specialisation?
5 votes

you don't say how far along you are. If you haven't finished a first degree in maths and he has a PhD from a good university then he ought be at least twice as fast as you. In fact, if he is only ...

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Reviewer makes an obvious and serious mistake and paper is rejected
5 votes

This happens all the time. I have sometimes raised it with the editor. Doing so has always been a waste of time. The best thing you can do is move on. I have had a reviewer say it would be good if ...

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Does a professor have the academic discretion to design the curriculum for his class?
5 votes

This varies tremendously from country to country. In the US, the professor has a lot of latitude. However, in the UK and Australia, this is not the case. At Oxford, you are presented with the ...

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How should an graduate student with Aspergers syndrome prepare for a teaching career?
5 votes

Certainly many mathematicians are strange in one way or another. In some departments to the point that not being so makes you stand out. In one very prestigious department I worked in, it was quite ...

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possibility of transfer from a fixed-term Lecturer to a continuing appointment
4 votes

I suspect what it means is that if there is a position available you will be welcome to apply for it but you may not get it. You are certainly entitled to ask the head of school for clarification.

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Complimenting the author of a textbook
3 votes

The biggest way to thank someone who writes books is to write positive detailed reviews. They will see the review and feel appreciated. You can always send a link to the author after posting the ...

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What is the equivalent of an Australian or New Zealand honours thesis in British universities?
3 votes

in England, honours is granted after three years without a mandatory thesis or essay component. Scotland is more similar to Australia but not identical. Even in Australia, the requirement for an ...

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How to respond a reviewer's reply when he is asking about much more to be discussed?
3 votes

What's sometimes worked for me is to e-mail the editor noting the conflicting demands of the referees and saying what you propose to do and asking if that would be OK? Depending on the circumstances I ...

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Academic Interview: What is your Greatest Weakness?
2 votes

I have been asked this in an interview for a lectureship in pure mathematics. At the time I was quite junior so I just said that I didn't much have much administrative experience. They then just moved ...

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What are the 'right questions' to ask professors at a visit day for prospective graduate students?
2 votes

Some questions that I think are all too relevant to mathematics PhDs are What percentage of entrants get the PhD? How many years funding are there? What percentage of students finish before funding ...

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May I discuss a paper I have only seen as a referee?
1 votes

journal submissions are generally confidential. The blindness of the referee is generally to protect the referee so you are entitled to waive it if you wish. So you can't use results in the paper ...

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Will not collaborating hurt the career of a math postdoc?
1 votes

In my experience , it is worthwhile to collaborate because 1) if you write an n-authored paper, you get more than 1/n times the credit. 2) if you can find a collaborator with complementary skills ...

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Asking a celebrity Prof to sign a paper they wrote?
1 votes

I have signed a lot of copies of my books to the point some of colleagues used to joke about "having rare unsigned copies." If someone has bothered to buy a copy, why not sign it? This is particularly ...

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Why are most of the top universities American?
1 votes

Another explanation is the governance. American universities are governed by their alumni. It is alumni who care the most about quality since any reduction in their institution's reputation ...

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How to cope with lab noise?
1 votes

My solution as a PhD student was to work in the departmental reading room which was conveniently next to the common room. When I wanted to be social, I went next door, when I didn't I got on with work....

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To eventually become a mathematics lecturer in the UK, does undergraduate degree have to be from a good university?
1 votes

If you have done good research no one cares where you first degree is from. However, bear the following points in mind 1) it is hard to move up universities 2) it is hard to do a good PhD without a ...

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Need a thesis extension due to mental illness, but supervisor seems unwilling. How to proceed?
0 votes

It depends a lot on the university's policies. I know of one Australian university where extension decisions are not in the academics' hands. Find out the extension process for your university, get ...

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How to handle student plagiarism appropriately?
0 votes

Some universities have codes of conduct to prevent fishing of students who are suspected of cheating. Talk to the Head of Department or a senior professor. Do not do anything else.

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If I refereed a paper at one journal (and it was rejected) should I referee it again when it's sent to another journal?
-1 votes

I generally say "no" in these circumstances. I would say "yes" under either of two circumstances 1) I believe it is suitable for the second journal but not for the first 2) The paper is so wrong ...

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