Brian Borchers
  • Member for 8 years, 11 months
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2 answers
12 votes
1k views
Should those more interested in research choose a postdoc or teaching position?
Accepted answer
10 votes

In my discipline, mathematics, there is a huge range of tenure track positions, from very strongly research oriented positions to positions that are entirely oriented towards teaching. Most new PhD's ...

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4 answers
14 votes
2k views
Feedback for a student showing improvement
10 votes

There's a fundamental philosophical issue in education about how much "talent" or "ability" matters compared with "effort" and how this interacts with grading specific pieces of student work. ...

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4 answers
11 votes
3k views
Does the order of citation ([Kir10, HZK09] or vice versa) matter?
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10 votes

Some styles require multiple citations to be in alphabetical or numerical order. For example, APA style requires that citations be in the same order as they appear in the references list (that would ...

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4 answers
22 votes
4k views
What is the etiquette for repeatedly emailing questions to an author whose work I'm building on?
10 votes

As someone who is often on the receiving end of such questions, my advice is: First and foremost, understand the theory behind the code before you go ask questions. Many of the questions that I get ...

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1 answers
9 votes
258 views
Does FERPA require parental notification of disability assessment?
9 votes

Students who are over 18 or attending college (often times 17 year olds) have control of their educational records under FERPA. The individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is consistent ...

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5 answers
16 votes
4k views
Are student evaluations of teaching assistants read by others in the faculty?
9 votes

Yes, in the US context, it's completely normal for your supervisor to read these evaluations.

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3 answers
11 votes
3k views
What to do if a student claims to have turned in the homework but I could not find it?
9 votes

Since you have no way to show that the student didn't submit the homework, it's simply your word against the word of the student. Furthermore, there were lots of homework assignments from various ...

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2 answers
-6 votes
232 views
What are "scholarship" and "engagement"?
9 votes

I suspect that this question is really more of a rant than a serious question, but I'll try to give a serious and concrete answer. Scholarship is a term that is widely used in defining the work of ...

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1 answers
3 votes
146 views
take visiting professorship or wait a year?
9 votes

This is ultimately a personal choice, but if you've spent the last five years as a research postdoc with no success in landing a tenure track position at a research university, then it's probably time ...

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5 answers
18 votes
3k views
Are P-hacking and hypothesising after results are known considered misconduct in academia?
9 votes

In the US, for research funded by the NIH, "Research Misconduct" is a finding made by the NIH Office of Research Integrity. Other federal agencies have offices with similar responsibilities for ...

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2 answers
4 votes
630 views
Mathjobs.org cover letter: Address to "Hiring Committee Member" or to faculty member listed on job posting?
Accepted answer
9 votes

No. Although the person listed for further information might be on the search committee, they certainly won't be the only member of the committee. Furthermore, the person listed for further ...

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1 answers
4 votes
3k views
Why is it so hard to convince professors to write recommendation letters for me?
9 votes

In general, when you ask someone to write a letter of recommendation for you and they are unwilling to do so then it is likely that the reason they are unwilling to write a letter of recommendation is ...

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1 answers
2 votes
232 views
Total Grant Amount or Amount from Government on CV
9 votes

In the US, this kind of arrangement is called "cost sharing." Under current rules federal agencies are no longer allowed to require cost sharing and institutions cannot propose cost sharing, although ...

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2 answers
23 votes
20k views
What do the abbreviations 2:2, 2:1, or 3:2:3 mean in terms of teaching loads?
9 votes

To answer the part of the question about preps: It's easier to teach two sections of the same course than it is to teach two entirely different courses. A 3:3 load with two preps means that you ...

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2 answers
7 votes
577 views
Question about leaving supervisor
9 votes

This is a fairly common situation, but there are lots of ways in which it can be handled. A lot depends on the specifics of your situation and how well your advisor and your current department are ...

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1 answers
2 votes
5k views
Assistant Professor vs Assistant Teaching Professor
9 votes

"Assistant Teaching Professor" isn't a very common title, and the meaning of the title could vary from one institution to another. However, I would assume that an "assistant teaching professor" was a ...

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4 answers
22 votes
2k views
Traveling with textbooks
9 votes

Have you considered using ebooks in situations where they're available and reasonably priced (and don't have Digital Rights Management)? A few years ago when I went to Los Angeles for a sabbatical ...

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1 answers
4 votes
171 views
Citation feed for scholarly works
Accepted answer
9 votes

Yes, this can be done in a number of ways: In Google Scholar, you can set up an "alert" for citations of any paper that you're interested in. Scholar is very broad in its collection of data, so this ...

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5 answers
7 votes
629 views
Can non-teaching staff write teaching recommendation letters for academic jobs?
Accepted answer
9 votes

I would view the letter favorably if the letter writer made it clear that they had observed the candidate's teaching. I've seen some TA training programs where the TA's are observed in the ...

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5 answers
20 votes
6k views
Is it possible to earn a PhD in mathematics with emphasis in teaching?
9 votes

"Lecturer" is a title with very different meanings in different countries. In the US system, the title typically indicates either a part time instructor or a person who is a full time teacher but ...

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6 answers
26 votes
6k views
How can editors and reviewers detect data manipulation?
9 votes

Why not run the experiment enough times so that you can produce your plot with error bars on the points? This will make it possible for the reader to understand how much random variation there is in ...

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1 answers
4 votes
634 views
My supervisor does not believe my abilities
9 votes

It's may not be in your best interests to continue working with this supervisor. If you can find another supervisor, then it might be wise to switch, but you'll have to consider how changing ...

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5 answers
20 votes
11k views
My h-index is very low and I want to increase it
8 votes

In addition to writing papers that others will want to cite, another important factor is simply the number of publications that you have- if you look at the profiles of researchers who have h-index ...

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3 answers
1 votes
670 views
Theorists facing tenure track faculty interviews
8 votes

If you don't need lab equipment or space to do your research then just say so and explain what, if any, support you do need to conduct your research (e.g. travel funds, a desktop computer, a ...

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1 answers
4 votes
2k views
Can a cousin write a recommendation letter for graduate school?
Accepted answer
8 votes

This is probably not a good idea. A strong letter of recommendation will make it clear how the recommender knows the applicant. If it is apparent that the recommender is a family member, then many ...

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2 answers
2 votes
690 views
What do you call an academic who puts their name on an article they didn't write?
Accepted answer
8 votes

Phrases like "guest author", "honorary author", or "courtesy author" have been used to describe this practice. References: See use of "guest author" here: Legal Remedies for Medical Ghostwriting: ...

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3 answers
12 votes
2k views
Advice about job applications in the US (mathematics)
8 votes

I've participated in many searches over the years, and chaired search committees in each of the last two years. My institution is a smaller research intensive university that specializes only in the ...

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1 answers
1 votes
223 views
Applying from a different country: can the application be dismissed because of interview expenses?
8 votes

In short, the answer is that yes, a search committee (or the administrators who would have to pay for the travel) could decide not to invite someone to an interview or invite them without agreeing to ...

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7 answers
54 votes
9k views
Profs who have done a full year sabbatical overseas with a family: How did you make it work?
8 votes

Your biggest issue is likely to be your wife's job- will she be able to take an unpaid leave from the job and return to it later, or will she simply have to resign her position? I've taken two ...

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5 answers
21 votes
15k views
What determines the copyright year for a publication?
8 votes

It's a common thing for publishers to set the copyright date as late as possible so as to get an extra year of copyright protection. It's quite common to see books that appear in print in stores in ...

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