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**25**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Choosing postdocs

In this period I have been applying for some postdoc positions. One of the main difficulties is that there is no central organization, so the times and practices for applying vary considerably even in ...

**16**

votes

**5**answers

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 ...

**37**

votes

**8**answers

12k views

### How hard is it to get tenure in mathematics?

My curiousity provoked by this question and Igor's answer, I'd like to know: how many mathematics PhD's who want to get a tenured job as a research mathematician actually get that job?
As a first ...

**71**

votes

**13**answers

8k views

### How does an academic mathematician educate him/herself about job opportunities outside academia?

One of the contradictions of being a math professor is that a big part of your job is to train people to do things which are quite different from what you do yourself professionally; this is ...

**22**

votes

**3**answers

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 ...

**13**

votes

**5**answers

12k views

### Reference letters for graduate school after a couple years in the industry

How does one return to graduate school after spending a couple years in the industry? In particular, what are ways of getting good recommendations? I'm not concerned about the "adjustment" to the grad ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

3k views

### Should a job application research statement include a “research plan”?

I am wondering whether I should include a "research plan" as part of my research statement for the academic job market. My concern is that my research plan may not exactly match the projects being ...

**23**

votes

**1**answer

3k views

### “How not to write an NSF proposal” poster: does any one know where to find it online?

When I was recently at MSRI, they had a big poster of humorous advice on how to get an NSF proposal rejected (for example: "Definitely don't worry about sending it to an appropriate program officer. ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Is there any disadvantage from non-academic job turn to academic job in math

If you get your PhD in math , and then work for 1 or 2 years in a non-academic institution and then turn to apply for postdoc or tenure-track position in math like usual, is there any disadvantage (I ...

**1**

vote

**7**answers

11k views

### Can I become a good mathematician? [closed]

I hold an Electrical Engg degree currently and for the past few months I have been preparing for an entrance test for my Master's degree.Meanwhile my interest in mathematics has grown enormously and I ...

**34**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### Informal online seminars or reading groups via videoconferencing?

Does the following exist, and if not, does anyone besides me wish it did? A web site where a mathematician (say) could find other mathematicians who want to study the same book or paper, and arrange ...

**17**

votes

**7**answers

5k views

### When your paper makes a borderline case for a top journal

Say you write a paper that you feel makes a borderline case for publication in a prestigious journal (Annals, Acta, Inventiones, JAMS, etc). What are the advantages and disadvantages of submitting ...

**10**

votes

**8**answers

9k views

### What to look for in applicants to graduate programs (in mathematics)?

Hello,
I was thinking about what should be looked at when deciding on the admission of applicants to graduate programs in mathematics and I thought MO would be a good place to get opinions. What do ...

**28**

votes

**4**answers

5k views

### When to start reviewing

Recently I had a few papers published, and I suppose in response to this, I received a request from Zentralblatt to be a reviewer. They ask some general questions about what I would feel comfortable ...

**18**

votes

**10**answers

4k 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 ...

**25**

votes

**11**answers

6k 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 ...

**18**

votes

**12**answers

7k views

### How seriously should a graduate student take teaching evaluations?

Pretty much the question in the title. If a grad student gets bad reviews as a TA, how much does that hurt them later? How much do good reviews help? What if the situation is more complex? (For ...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

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 ...

**14**

votes

**12**answers

9k views

### How important are publications for undergrads?

I have heard vastly conflicting statements about whether undergrads applying for PhD programs should have published already, or what level of research will be expected of them. Looking at CVs of some ...

**66**

votes

**7**answers

35k views

### How Much Work Does it Take to be a Successful Mathematician?

Hi Everyone,
Famous anecdotes of G.H. Hardy relay that his work habits consisted of working no more than four hours a day in the morning and then reserving the rest of the day for cricket and tennis. ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

676 views

### What happened to Clay Liftoff? [closed]

I noticed the other day that the Clay Liftoff program has been suspended. You can see this at http://www.claymath.org/fas/liftoff/. It also appears that there were fewer Fellows this year then in past ...

**28**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### How does one handle two-body job searches?

One thing I've heard conflicting advice on is how to handle a job search for two people simultaneously; especially the strategy of things like: when do you mention your situation to the departments in ...

**11**

votes

**4**answers

8k views

### Is it possible to write a research statement which is too short?

We all know that it is possible to write a research statement which is so long it becomes counterproductive. At some point people will give up on reading it.
But can you write one (let's say for job ...

**13**

votes

**12**answers

4k views

### Which magazines should I read? [closed]

Suppose you are a mathematics student who has just graduated and you haven't yet come to graduate school, or maybe you are in your first year of graduate school. Which magazines should you read? I ...

**17**

votes

**8**answers

9k 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 ...

**30**

votes

**10**answers

5k views

### Tools for Organizing Papers?

Much like a previous question on keeping research notes organized, my question is how people keep their pile of papers organized. I've got a stack of about 100 in my office, most of them classifying ...

**12**

votes

**10**answers

3k views

### Thematic Programs for 2010-2011?

I'm applying for jobs, and I am frustrated that I haven't yet found a nice 'master list' of thematic programs at various institutes in the coming year. I'm talking about semester-long or year-long ...

**95**

votes

**16**answers

23k views

### How do you keep your research notes organized? [closed]

One of the things I struggle with most in doing research is keeping my notes organized. Since research tends to do a lot of branching, keeping notes in a linear fashion seems useless to me. On the ...

**67**

votes

**12**answers

18k views

### Where are mathematics jobs advertised if not on mathjobs (e.g. in Europe and elsewhere)?

My impression is that in the US, there is a canonical place for finding math jobs, namely mathjobs.org. For those of us who live and apply for jobs elsewhere, life is more complicated, and searching ...

**52**

votes

**7**answers

8k views

### Teaching statements for math jobs?

What is the purpose of the "teaching statement" or "statement of teaching philosophy" when applying for jobs, specifically math postdocs? I am applying for jobs, and I need to write one of these ...

**20**

votes

**7**answers

7k 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.