Brian Borchers
  • Member for 8 years, 11 months
  • Last seen this week
12 answers
91 votes
21k views
Two-thirds of my class colluded. Should I report them to the academic offences committee?
Accepted answer
212 votes

In our school, we are expected to flag cases of suspected plagiarism and collusion to an internal academic offences committee. There's your answer. It's your job to report the offense.

View answer
5 answers
57 votes
19k views
How to handle a student who will not accept that he is wrong?
92 votes

Should I just tell him to talk to the instructor, and that my job is just marking? Yes. There's no point in getting into an extended argument with this student. The student thought his answers were ...

View answer
5 answers
79 votes
14k views
Elsevier production team messed up my paper. What should I do?
Accepted answer
72 votes

You could try contacting the editor in chief of the journal to see if they could get the problem fixed. This worked for me when I had similar problems with a paper last year.

View answer
9 answers
30 votes
8k views
What are the motivations for publishing new editions of an existing textbook, beyond new discoveries in a field?
Accepted answer
71 votes

Publishers want new editions so that they can make money selling copies of the new edition and reduce the market for used copies. The new edition might be significantly updated, but in many cases the ...

View answer
12 answers
38 votes
11k views
How to explain to a student that it is common to include a supervisor as a co-author?
67 votes

If the student truly is writing a paper independently of the advisor, then the advisor shouldn't be a coauthor and it would be inappropriate for the advisor to demand this. In the more usual ...

View answer
9 answers
54 votes
17k views
A professor has offered to send me a hard copy of his new book. Would it be rude to ask for a PDF file instead?
63 votes

Feel free to ask, but if this author is in the same position I was in when my recent book was published, the answer would have to be "no" Under my contract I got a set number of printed copies of the ...

View answer
10 answers
80 votes
23k views
What do mathematics researchers do if they aren't good?
52 votes

Many people who complete PhD's in mathematics end up leaving academia within a few years after completing the degree. Many others settle into teaching oriented positions at community colleges, four ...

View answer
6 answers
30 votes
11k views
Just got tenured and promoted, but need to move for family reasons
50 votes

If you stay behind and work for a year as an associate professor and go on the job market the next academic year, you'll be in a better situation to search for a new tenure track position than if you ...

View answer
4 answers
41 votes
3k views
Is there a way to save my students money on a textbook?
Accepted answer
49 votes

An easy thing to do that can be very helpful to your students is to put a copy of the textbook (or two or three copies) on reserve in the university library. Students can then photocopy critical ...

View answer
6 answers
31 votes
11k views
Should students be shown the grading rubric?
49 votes

Sharing a good rubric with your students can be a helpful way to let them understand what is expected of them. There is a down side in that the rubric then provides a basis for students to complain ...

View answer
5 answers
36 votes
10k views
At how many citations should I make my Google Scholar profile public?
44 votes

As someone who is currently on a search committee for two tenure track positions in mathematics, I can tell you that "hiding" your profile certainly won't help. In the job search process, potential ...

View answer
4 answers
17 votes
3k views
May I discuss a paper I have only seen as a referee?
43 votes

No. It's a standard expectation that you'll keep confidential anything in the papers you referee. Once the paper is published (or even made available online as a preprint) then you'd be free to ...

View answer
4 answers
28 votes
4k views
Why are positions in math so hard to come by nowadays?
40 votes

The number of tenured/tenure track faculty positions in the US has been on the decline in recent years, partly because of a substantial increase in the amount of teaching done by contingent faculty (...

View answer
10 answers
31 votes
15k views
Do professors get paid for supervising students?
Accepted answer
40 votes

In the US, supervising graduate students is generally considered part of the normal workload of a faculty member and there's no extra pay for doing this. The number of students supervised is ...

View answer
4 answers
40 votes
5k views
What exactly is "campus security"?
39 votes

Many universities (both public and private) in the US have campus police. These are actual police officers who can carry guns and have the power to arrest someone or write a citation. On a large ...

View answer
2 answers
21 votes
33k views
Answer to "Will you be able to provide proof of your identity and employment eligibility if you are hired"?
37 votes

Unless you're already eligible to work in the US (e.g. as a permanent resident), you'll have to answer the second question with a "no." The three aspects of US employment/immigration law that you ...

View answer
14 answers
36 votes
7k views
How do you enforce handwriting standards for homework assignments as a TA?
36 votes

My approach is simple- homework is submitted as a typed .pdf file, no exceptions. Homework is submitted online through the course management system (Instructure's Canvas in our case), which enforces ...

View answer
5 answers
-5 votes
3k views
Why would my teacher's dean care when I took the final?
Accepted answer
36 votes

Allowing students to take finals at other than the scheduled time could cause the following problems: Complaints from other students (in other courses under other professors) that they weren't ...

View answer
10 answers
53 votes
10k views
Why do tenured professors still publish in pay-walled venues?
35 votes

Even if a faculty member has settled into a tenured full professorship they still typically have annual evaluations for the purpose of determining pay raises, and having publications in highly ranked ...

View answer
4 answers
24 votes
4k views
Plagiarism in semester assignment
33 votes

You should follow whatever your university policies say should be done when plagiarism is detected. Typically reporting is the very first thing that must be done. What will happen after that depends ...

View answer
6 answers
27 votes
6k views
What do search committees really read in a CV during initial screening for a faculty position?
32 votes

I'm serving on a hiring committee this year that received roughly 180 applications for a tenure track position in mathematics. All of the members of the committee reviewed all of the applications. ...

View answer
5 answers
17 votes
3k views
Applying and interviewing for a faculty position without intent of accepting position
Accepted answer
29 votes

Please don't do this- you'll only be wasting the time of the search committee members. Furthermore, you'll be doing something that is dishonest, and you do should not get into the habit of lying to ...

View answer
15 answers
35 votes
10k views
What are legitimate reasons for students to use their personal, rather than university, email accounts?
28 votes

One reason for such rules is that someone could easily pretend to be a student by creating an email account and use it to get confidential information from an instructor or other university official. ...

View answer
6 answers
16 votes
25k views
When is it useful to include the code in a thesis?
28 votes

Making your code available along with your thesis can be very helpful to other researchers who are trying to reproduce your results. I'd encourage you to do this. However, you should not simply ...

View answer
4 answers
24 votes
5k views
How to supply proof that you are a reviewer for a journal?
27 votes

Some journals publish a "thank you to reviewers" list at the end of the year. If your name is on such a list than that establishes that you reviewed for the journal. As a practical matter, no one ...

View answer
6 answers
25 votes
2k views
What steps can faculty and staff take to promote excellence in, and importance of, teaching?
Accepted answer
27 votes

Putting in place a better system for evaluating teaching than today's student evaluation forms would be a good start. Getting serious about the assessment of student learning outcomes (rather than ...

View answer
2 answers
12 votes
3k views
Should I accept an invitation to give a talk from someone who might review my proposal?
Accepted answer
25 votes

It's the potential reviewer's responsibility to declare or avoid any conflict of interest, not yours. If the potential reviewer isn't asked to review your proposal (or declines for other reasons) ...

View answer
5 answers
32 votes
3k views
Why don't publication venues systematically make the LaTeX source of papers available?
25 votes

I think your question is actually about why publishers don't make the LaTeX source of papers available to readers rather than why publishers don't accept submissions in LaTeX form. You might want to ...

View answer
4 answers
9 votes
6k views
How reasonable is it to ask my referees to send their recommendation letters to me?
25 votes

You should ask your references to send the letters directly to the hiring committee. Your references will be more candid in letters that you have not seen and this will increase the credibility of ...

View answer
5 answers
39 votes
11k views
Good idea to warn students they were suspected of cheating?
24 votes

If you suspect cheating, one option is to ask the students directly to explain how they got answers that were so similar to the online source. In my experience, this often results in an immediate ...

View answer
1
2 3 4 5
13