The tag has no wiki summary.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

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 ...
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 ...
100
votes
15answers
10k 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 ...
87
votes
107answers
28k views

Most memorable titles [closed]

Apparently, for a large number of readers, the choice whether they select to read a paper or not is often strongly influenced by the title. I was wondering if the MO-users would be willing to share ...
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 ...
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 ...
76
votes
19answers
10k views

Mathematical habits of thought and action which would be of use to non-mathematicians

Once again I come to MO for help with something I'm writing for the public. Which habits of mathematicians -- aspects of the way we approach problems, the way we argue, the way we function as a ...
70
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 ...
55
votes
6answers
2k views

Good ways to engage in mathematics outreach?

Greetings all, I have often heard that it would be good if we as a community did more in the way of mathematics outreach: more to explain what it is we do to the community at large, more to expose ...
51
votes
7answers
7k views

Lost soul: loneliness in pursing math. Advice needed. [closed]

This is a atypical question for the forum. I'd like to get some advice on whether I should keep pursuing Math in the traditional route, i.e. get a PhD, do research & teach, etc. Due to financial ...
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 ...
49
votes
4answers
2k views

A question about MathSciNet etiquette

Hello, Recently, a colleague of mine pointed me to a MathSciNet review of one of my papers that is completely off the mark - it is not negative or anything like that, but it grossly misrepresents the ...
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 ...
43
votes
6answers
3k views

What does it take to run a good learning seminar?

I'm thinking about running a graduate student seminar in the summer. Having both organized and participated in such seminars in the past, I have witnessed first-hand that, contrary to what one might ...
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 ...
40
votes
18answers
5k views

How can an extremely mathematically talented young person be helped to fulfill his/her potential?

Obviously, this question is not a research level mathematics question at all. But, I've just met an extremely mathematically talented 11 years old student and I don't know how I can help him. For ...
40
votes
4answers
4k views

before taking on a graduate student [closed]

This post asks for resources to handle the following situation: "I, suddenly, have students" and many wonderful answers have been provided. My question here is sort of a prequel: recently, a ...
38
votes
15answers
4k views

How does the work of a pure mathematician impact society? [closed]

First, I will explain my situation. In my University most of the careers are doing videos to explain what we do and try to attract more people to our careers. I am in a really bad position, because ...
34
votes
8answers
2k views

Published results: when to take them for granted?

Two kinds of papers. There are two kinds of papers: self-contained ones, and those relying on published results (which I believe are the vast majority). Checking the result. Of course, one should ...
32
votes
8answers
8k views

Modern algebraic geometry vs. classical algebraic geometry

Can anyone offer advice on roughly how much commutative algebra, homological algebra etc. one needs to know to do research in (or to learn) modern algebraic geometry. Would you need to be familiar ...
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 ...
29
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
29
votes
2answers
3k views

A question about rejected journal submissions, similar results, and discrepancies between the order of submission and the order of publication [closed]

Today I just received the decision of my paper from a journal. The paper was submitted last December and my paper is kind of long (about 40 pages), so I think it's reasonable to take such a long time ...
27
votes
16answers
20k 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 ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

Presenting a paper: Do's and Don'ts?

I was wondering what would be the best way to present your paper at a conference, if your paper is selected for "short communication", lasting for about 15 minutes? Should you concentrate on the main ...
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 ...
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 ...
25
votes
6answers
1k views

Means of Promoting Mathematics in Young Countries!

We all know mathematics is life, this question is for Mankind. It's mathoverflow here when some parts of the world we have mathunderflow! I think we can do something through ideas. A similar ...
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 ...
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 ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

How to balance writing professionally and being able to have a conversation with your reader?

Background. I am someone at the very very beginning stages of my career as a mathematician, and am, for example, almost ready to (re)submit my first paper. I have already read a lot of essays on how ...
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 ...
23
votes
6answers
6k views

Submitting to arXiv when unaffiliated

I am writing a short paper in the area of combinatorics. When the paper is complete, I would like to be able to submit it to arXiv. The reasons that I would like to submit to arXiv are: To obtain ...
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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “problem solving” a subject to be taught?

I am witnessing a new curriculum change in my country (Iran). It includes the change of all the mathematics textbooks at all grades. The peoples involved has sent me the textbook for seven graders (13 ...
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 ...
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

When should I publish my results?

I just finish my masters thesis, and I was told by one of the referees that I should publish some of the results in there. However I feel that I mainly repeat arguments by other people in a slightly ...
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 ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

When is it appropriate to entitle a paper “A note on…” or “On the …”? [closed]

I rarely find modern research papers (on mathematics) that are less than 5 pages long. However, recently I came across a couple of mathematical research papers from the 1960/1970's that were very ...
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 ...
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.
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Citation of a paper with a proof you would like to improve [closed]

Imagine that you are in the following situation: You write up a proof which eventually gets published. There you need a result which is not so well-known but it is contained in another paper P; ...
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' ...
19
votes
9answers
2k views

What are some interesting problems in the intersection of Algebraic Number Theory and Algebraic Topology?

I'm a beginning graduate student and while my background is primarily in algebraic number theory, I've found myself a bit smitten with the subject of algebraic topology recently after only having read ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...