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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 ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Non-mathematician submitting to top maths journal? [closed]

I am an amateur mathematician, and I had an idea which I worked out a bit and sent to an expert. He urged me to write it up for publication. So I did, and put it on arXiv. There were a couple of ...
31
votes
3answers
8k views

Submission of a paper with a serious error to a good journal

I recently obtained (or so I thought) a good result, and after a month of reading and rereading what I'd written, submitted my paper to a very good journal. I'm early in my career (got my Ph.D. a few ...
30
votes
16answers
24k views

Undergraduate math research

I believe this is the right place to ask this, so I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on research at the undergraduate level. I was recently accepted into the McNair Scholars program. It ...
19
votes
5answers
3k 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
3k 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 ...
127
votes
16answers
53k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Technical phd after 33

Is it a good idea to get a math/stats/theoretical cs phd after 33 in the hope of becoming a professor? I am an electrical engineer who did his phd in EE at a low ranked school. I have been working in ...
26
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
95
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 ...
104
votes
15answers
11k views

When and how is it appropriate for an undergraduate to email a professor out of the blue?

This may not be appropriate for MathOverflow, as I haven't seen precedent for this type of question. But the answer is certainly of interest to me, and (I think) would be of interest to many other ...
37
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!
92
votes
14answers
15k 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 ...
73
votes
14answers
5k views

How do I fix someone's published error?

Paper A is in the literature, and has been for more than a decade. An error is discovered in paper A and is substantial in that many details are affected, although certain fundamental properties ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Yet another 'roadmap' style request- a second bite of the cherry

Okay, so I know MO has had a recent proliferation of this kind of question, and I know MO is not really for this type of question (though I suspect perhaps this is a phenomenon that is likely to ...
8
votes
7answers
6k views

Undergraduate approach to learning math [closed]

I am going into my sophomore year as an undergraduate and I would like to ask the more experienced folks a couple questions about learning math and related things. What are your experiences and advice ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Source of wisdom on how to improve the ratio of time feeling fulfilled to time feeling frustrated in research?

I thought I remembered reading something along the lines of the following advice in Littlewood’s Miscellany, but it doesn't appear to be there. Researchers spend the vast majority of their time ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What to expect from attending an ICM?

Since ICM 2010 is due to be held in Hyderabad next august, and since I never attended such an event, I am wondering if those MO users who did attend at least one ICM could share some of their wisdom ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

Oneupsmanship and Publishing Etiquette

Apologies for the anonymous (and, in hindsight, mildly longish) question. I have an etiquette question on publishing an improvement of another author's work, but I figured a thread on the matter to ...
18
votes
10answers
3k views

Research Experience for Undergraduates: Summer Programs

Some time ago, I found this list of REU programs held in 2009. The main aspects that characterize such programs are: (a) a great deal of lectures on specific topics; and, admittedly more ...
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 ...
17
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
8k 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
6k 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.