14
votes
7answers
710 views

Where to find (personal) motivation [closed]

I think it would be appropriate to make this question CW... It is likely that this question will not survive here on MO for long, but I do hope that the community gives it a chance. I also hope to ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Advice for pure-math Phd students [closed]

Pursuing a Phd in pure math can be a daunting task. A number of students who begin a Phd in pure math don't complete it, and there are high-quality dissertations and those which are not so high ...
4
votes
1answer
893 views

Preparing for Set Theory Research

Is reading Jech's text on Set Theory too little, just enough, or overkill to prepare oneself to do independent research in set theory? This would be my first attempt at doing independent research ...
9
votes
0answers
308 views

State of research in moduli space of flat connections

I am a recent PhD student trying to settle into a research topic. Even though I have a current project I am working on, I am not particularly enjoying it and would like to switch. Before braving the ...
21
votes
9answers
3k views

Research topics restricted to students at top universities?

Hello everybody. I am a Ph.D student in North America looking for advice about my prospective research area. My supervisor works in a research area, let's say area A, so as soon as I was accepted as ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to get another math PhD

My undergrad being in a field other than mathematics (and not in the US), I couldn't get into the Princeton/Harvard/MIT tier of universities for my math PhD. I settled for a lesser program and got my ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

Should one attack hard problems?

When I applied for a PhD student position I had an interview with two professors. Somehow we touched the problem if $P$ is $NP$ and, once we got there, for some reason both professors made it clear ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How should a professor feel peace of mind when a student leaves academia? [closed]

I apologize if this is the wrong forum for this question -- if so, could somebody please point me to the correct one? I'm a professor who recently started advising graduate students, and I'm trying ...
41
votes
8answers
4k views

Publishing a bad paper?

First, I apologize if mathoverflow is a bad fit for this question, but it is the only place where I can think to get advice from professionals given my circumstance. I'm also sorry about any vagueness ...
6
votes
2answers
935 views

Training towards research on birational geometry/minimal model program

Being a not yet enrolled independently supervised graduate student in mathematics, with prospects of applying to American graduate schools hopefully in a 1-2 years' time, I have a background of having ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Contacting an eminent mathematician

I have recently started a PhD. and am researching an area that two now eminent mathematicians devoted considerable time to in the 1980s. However, there appears to have been fairly moderate focus on ...
2
votes
0answers
529 views

Advanced High-Schooler Seeking Career Advice [closed]

Hello, I have looked around quite a bit on Math Overflow and haven't found a similar question, so I'm posting it here. I understand that this isn't the typical forum for such a question but it's as ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

How to assess research “impact” for tenure/promotion committees

Over the last several years, the college-level promotion & tenure committee at my university has increasingly been seeking to apply "objective" criteria for assessing the impact of candidates' ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How to make the move to a research university from a liberal arts school?

Some mathematicians are in positions that emphasize teaching at predominantly undergraduate colleges but find themselves desiring positions at research universities. This may happen because their ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Presenting work in progress [closed]

At some point in the evolution of a project, one has to decide when to start talking about it in seminars and at conferences. I am interested in hearing about how other mathematicians make this ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Switching tenure-track position [closed]

I have a tenure-track position at a research university (among top 20 in USA) in a decent city. This has been my fourth year as a tenure-track. I still have not heard from my department regarding the ...
51
votes
7answers
5k views

What items MUST appear on a mathematician's CV?

Writing a CV makes me paranoid that I'm failing to abide by unwritten rules. Of course CVs are flexible to capture the diversity of accomplishments someone might have. But there must be plenty of ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I tell my current employer that I am applying to other jobs? Should I have at least one letter of recommendation come from someone in the faculty at my current job? [closed]

Hello, I have a question regarding etiquette for applying for jobs. Background: I graduated recently with a PhD in mathematics and took a job at a small college. I have worked there pleasantly ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

How important is it for one on the job market to have thought about suitable REU projects?

An REU is a "Research Experience for Undergraduates" and entails undergrads (usually after their junior year) coming for 8-10 weeks out of the summer to University X to learn about and work on a ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

how to use arxiv?

Hello, This is a soft question. How do people usually use arxiv to put their papers? At which stage does one usually put his/her paper/report there? Someone suggests me to submit a paper while ...
119
votes
8answers
4k views

Resources for mathematics advising.

This question is possibly ill-advised. (If it is not right for this site I will delete it.) I, suddenly, have students. It is very clear to me that there is nothing in my education that has ...
11
votes
7answers
4k views

How to/Can you get a PhD position when you need more experience first?

My friend loves mathematics and wants to continue research as a mathematics PhD student, but this doesn't seem possible! She did a prestigious but inadequate bachelors program (almost no math) and ...
44
votes
8answers
3k views

Proper way to deal with papers you've already refereed.

This question is anonymous for obvious reasons. I referee what feels like a decent number of papers (though I don't know how many is normal!), and I try to take it seriously. Sometimes, based on ...
24
votes
9answers
3k views

Can breadth hurt a job candidate?

I am a junior mathematician, currently on the job market. I have been involved in a number of projects spread over several very different topics of mathematics, some being very mathematical projects ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Moving to academia from industry

I hope that the following question is suitable for MO. There have been several others in a similar vein, including this one about moving from maths into industry, this one about careers advice for ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Does it ever make sense NOT to go to the most prestigious grad school you can get into? [closed]

I'm a senior undergrad at a top-ish(say, top 15) math school. I'm a solid, not stellar, student. This year I'm taking the qualifying exam grad courses in algebra and analysis and have been taken aback ...
115
votes
16answers
46k views

What's a mathematician to do? [closed]

I have to apologize because this is not the normal sort of question for this site, but there have been times in the past where MO was remarkably helpful and kind to undergrads with similar types of ...
24
votes
3answers
11k views

What counts as an 'invited' talk?

When you write your CV, what do you count as an invited talk? Does it count if you're invited but not provided funding (this has happened to me several times at AMS special sessions)? What if someone ...
19
votes
3answers
12k views

How to transition from pure math PhD to nonacademic career?

I'm finishing up a PhD in math and am thinking about options outside of academia. So far, I've really only focused on pure mathematics, but I have a year left of grad school. Suppose I am interested ...
84
votes
7answers
6k views

How to escape the inclination to be a universalist or: How to learn to stop worrying and do some research.

As an undergraduate we are trained as mathematicians to be universalists. We are expected to embrace a wide spectrum of mathematics. Both algebra and analysis are presented on equal footing with ...
31
votes
4answers
3k views

How much reading do you do before you attack a problem?

When going off on a tangent from your regular area, where, presumably, you have such mastery of all cutting-edge research from your routine reading that you hardly need to do any extra (if this is ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

website for jobs in applied or industrial mathematics (or financial math)

What are the websites for general position in applied or industrial mathematics(or financial mathematics) related jobs (that is if we have to find a non academic job temporarily) ?Thanks!
86
votes
14answers
13k views

Careers advice for Ph.D.s without current postdocs or university jobs

Hi, I'm sure I'm not the only Ph.D. mathematician on MO in serious need of career advice. I'm sure there will be other readers in similar situations, who will find any good advice very helpful. Can ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Advice on changing topic for thesis problem

I am starting to find my thesis problem not meaningful nor interesting and too technical. As I learn more mathematics I am finding myself attracted to other topics and only started on my intital ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

How do you make a good math research poster for a non-mathematical audience?

I have the opportunity to prepare a research poster for a non-mathematical, yet scientifically savvy audience, and I want to do it well. I have asked a few mathematicians, and I have heard the ...
26
votes
2answers
9k views

Digital Pen for Math: Your Experiences?

This question is similar to this question but with a slightly different purpose. For many of the reasons presented in that question, note taking can be useful but tedious. Similarly, this question ...
23
votes
11answers
5k views

Switching Research Fields

I am a recent PhD specializing in algebraic geometry. But I also want to do research in some other areas of math (e.g. quantum computation, compressed sensing, and PDE's). What would be a good way of ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

When to split/merge papers?

I ran into the following problem. I have some lengthy paper in which I develop some theory to attack some problem. While I was working on this paper, I got some nice result which might interest a ...
17
votes
8answers
7k views

Curriculum vitae: including grants you've applied for, not received (or not yet received).

I've heard from multiple sources now that one's CV should include grants you've applied for, even if you didn't receive them or won't find out if you've received them until after your CV goes out. I ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

Advice on doing mathematical research

Please share any general tips or advice you have on doing mathematical research. How do you identify good problems to work on or to think about? What do you do when you get stuck on a problem? Etc.