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22
votes
7answers
6k views

Changing Careers: Becoming a Professional Mathematician

First, I apologize if this question is too soft or doesn't comport precisely with what is considered a good question, but I know of no other place to ask it. A little background: I obtained an ...
29
votes
8answers
3k views

Should one attack hard problems? [closed]

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
122 views

How to prepare a radical change of research field after the PhD [duplicate]

I am in the middle of my PhD in functional analysis. My undergraduate studies were focused on pure theory and so it was logical to continue in this direction. However, recently I got into contact with ...
19
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.
52
votes
8answers
7k views

How do you not forget old math?

I am trying to not forget my old math. I finished my PhD in real algebraic geometry a few years ago and then switched to the industry for financial reasons. Now I get the feeling that I want to do a ...
0
votes
1answer
360 views

Will this be a case of self plagiarism or will it annoy the referee? [closed]

About 2 months ago, I uploaded a fairly long paper (P1) to arXiv and it is currently under review. Now, I am writing a second paper (P2) on a somewhat different topic. But quite unexpectedly, it ...
18
votes
12answers
6k 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
3k views

Does your dissertation matter for industry research jobs?

Suppose Mr A. is a graduate student who, for some reason, does not want to go into teaching or academic research. Mr A. did a Doctoral dissertation, but it is in a narrow area. This area is not ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

Collaboration or acknowledgment?

This post is a sequel of: When should a supervisor be a co-author? This time the topic is about the interaction between two professional mathematicians (in particular junior-senior, but not ...
10
votes
0answers
353 views

Realistic exit strategy for pure mathematics faculty at liberal arts colleges

The recent announcement of the impending closure of Sweet Briar College in VA shows that the threat posed by recent market forces should not be ignored. When I graduated in 2005, the first jobs of up ...
6
votes
2answers
822 views

Publication in proceedings

Why and how publishing a paper in proceedings? What are the difference with a "classical" journal? What's the list of the main proceedings in which one can publish? Do proceedings papers (never, ...
16
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
760 views

Research and exposition: how does writing “basic” books affect your “serious” research work?

I can see the benefit of writing a mathematical monograph: you revise and organize your own work and recollect the key ideas of your own research. But this applies only to books aimed at researchers ...
106
votes
15answers
14k views

When should a supervisor be a co-author?

What are people's views on this? To be specific: suppose a PhD student has produced a piece of original mathematical research. Suppose that student's supervisor suggested the problem, and gave a few ...
25
votes
3answers
973 views

Graduate program applications that require questionnaires and other non-letter material

In the December 2014 AMS Notices, a letter to the editor (http://www.ams.org/notices/201411/rnoti-p1311.pdf) by Deconinck and Medlock addresses the problem of (math) graduate programs requiring letter ...
59
votes
9answers
6k views

What universities have laid off tenured math faculty for financial reasons?

When a math department lays off tenured staff, people cry out loud. But, 10 years later, such memories are no longer popular discussion subjects, and so the information doesn't always spread. Those ...
66
votes
12answers
17k 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 ...
38
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 ...
17
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
21
votes
10answers
2k views

What math institutes offer research in pairs/research in teams?

Some math institutes offer programs in which a small number of researchers are enabled to meet at the institute for a week or more. A list seemed as if it could be useful.
42
votes
11answers
10k views

What areas of pure mathematics research are best for a post-PhD transition to industry?

I have a student who is looking to start a PhD in pure mathematics. She is talented and motivated, and will do quite well. She is still in a phase of her development where she is still open to the ...
10
votes
0answers
354 views

transition from academia to industry [closed]

crossposted to http://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/23644/transition-from-academia-to-industry I am currently doing a post-doc in pure Math [teaching and research] in the US. The academic year ...
70
votes
13answers
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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
538 views

First PhD in pure math and the second PhD in applied math [closed]

Assume that someone has PhD in mathematics, and the dissertation was in Pure Mathematics. Is he eligible to apply to PhD program in Applied Mathematics? There are universities where the department of ...
6
votes
0answers
413 views

How to choose a good place for postdocs [closed]

I am finishing my Ph.D. and I am waiting to hear back from postdocs. I don't have offers yet (although I heard that some schools have already offered) but I have a question about how to tell which ...
95
votes
14answers
16k 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it worthwhile to give off-topic talks?

I am a graduate student. Occasionally for some reason I am asked to give a talk on my research at a conference whose stated purpose is almost completely unrelated to my research. To preserve my ...
20
votes
3answers
15k 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 ...
56
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I publish my “story”? i.e. strategies and advice on chopping up a thesis

Background In my thesis I look at same problem from a couple of different angles. To state it roughly, in each chapter I use a different technique or area of mathematics to try and gain further ...
2
votes
2answers
540 views

Industry jobs involving mathematics, machine learning and biology [closed]

I have a MSc in Mathematics and a PhD in Bioinformatics (in two different European countries); during the PhD I was developing computational methods to analyse DNA sequence data, mainly using a ...
30
votes
10answers
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
20
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 ...
10
votes
0answers
406 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
883 views

How to find a topic to do research with as a Post-Doc? [closed]

I will soon finish my PhD in arithmetic geometry. My advisor told me that I will have to find my next research topic on my own. How do I do that? (Except for "continue where the PhD thesis ends") Can ...
7
votes
0answers
551 views

Does this qualify as “self plagiarism” or something?

Over the last few years, I have been writing several papers in the same direction as part of a research program. This means that the same exact setup is introduced at the beginning of each of my ...
13
votes
12answers
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What does a mathematician expect from mathematics education? [closed]

Consider that my question is not a personal and/or subjective question. Perhaps, you have hired a mathematics educator in your department and you are interested in finding a way to communicate with ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

how do I withdraw my submitted paper? [closed]

I submitted a paper and unfortunately, about a week later, found a glaring error in reasoning in one of the proofs. Since the paper had been submitted only 1 week, the journal website said it hadnt ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
19
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
768 views

How hard is it to find a tenured position? [closed]

I am in my second year as an Associate Professor (with tenure) at a top research university (listed among top 20 in US News & World Report). My publication, teaching, and service records are all ...
3
votes
0answers
728 views

Some career start-up (postdoc) questions [closed]

Hi, I hope below can be categorized under career questions. Based on your experiences what are the major issues/concerns and differences of professor sponsored postdoc positions (compared to ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Shortlists and job offers [closed]

I hope this question is appropriate for MO. I started application process this year. I've searched several online ads for a job and found a wiki page, which contains names of people that have been ...
43
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

The non-traveling mathematician problem

This is a career question. I have just begun a research postdoc position in Southern California. It has been hard, but I've enjoyed teaching my first graduate courses and working on research and ...