The career tag has no usage guidance.

**148**

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**16**answers

58k 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 ...

**134**

votes

**8**answers

5k 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 ...

**114**

votes

**16**answers

15k 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 ...

**105**

votes

**7**answers

7k 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 ...

**100**

votes

**14**answers

17k 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 ...

**95**

votes

**16**answers

24k 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 ...

**72**

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 ...

**69**

votes

**12**answers

19k 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 ...

**67**

votes

**7**answers

37k 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. ...

**63**

votes

**7**answers

8k 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 ...

**60**

votes

**8**answers

9k 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 ...

**59**

votes

**7**answers

5k views

### When should you, and should you not, share your mathematical ideas?

Perhaps this is a biased forum for this "downer" question, but I've never figured this out. At what stage is it safe to share mathematical ideas? Many have told me that there is serious danger of ...

**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 ...

**49**

votes

**5**answers

5k views

### Changing field of study post-PhD

I am doing my PhD in algebraic graph theory, for not much more reason than that was what was available. However, I love deep structure and theory in mathematics, and I do not particularly want to be ...

**48**

votes

**8**answers

4k 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 ...

**46**

votes

**11**answers

14k 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 ...

**44**

votes

**8**answers

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 ...

**42**

votes

**4**answers

18k views

### Are there examples of (successful) NSF mathematics proposals available anywhere online?

As anyone who has ever applied to the NSF for a grant knows, such a proposal is a slightly odd piece of writing, not quite like anything else mathematicians are called upon to write. As such, it's a ...

**39**

votes

**4**answers

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 ...

**38**

votes

**8**answers

13k 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 ...

**35**

votes

**6**answers

11k views

### “Industry”/Government jobs for mathematicians

Suppose that you graduate with a good PhD in mathematics, but don't necessarily want to go into academia, with the post-doc years that this entails. Are there any other options for continuing to do ...

**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 ...

**32**

votes

**9**answers

5k views

### What can an algebraic geometer do outside academia? [closed]

This question is inspired by this
and this. But it is not a duplicate, read on. Please don't close it: I choose to be anonymous just not to be identified.
About to be on the job market, disenchanted ...

**31**

votes

**7**answers

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 ...

**31**

votes

**8**answers

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 ...

**31**

votes

**5**answers

17k 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 ...

**31**

votes

**3**answers

16k 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 ...

**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 ...

**29**

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 ...

**28**

votes

**3**answers

6k 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 ...

**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 ...

**26**

votes

**5**answers

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

**14**answers

2k views

### Webpages for specialized communities

First, my apology for this soft question. My excuse was that I really think this may be of interest to the community. I would understand if it gets closed (I have advocated closing some soft questions ...

**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 ...

**25**

votes

**5**answers

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 ...

**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 ...

**25**

votes

**3**answers

1k 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 ...

**24**

votes

**9**answers

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

**12**answers

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.

**24**

votes

**7**answers

7k 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 ...

**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. ...

**22**

votes

**8**answers

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 ...

**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 ...

**22**

votes

**3**answers

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' ...

**21**

votes

**9**answers

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

**3**answers

16k 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 ...

**21**

votes

**1**answer

6k views

### switching jobs when you have a tenure-track position

I hope this topic is appropriate for MO. I have a tenure-track position at a US university in a location where my spouse is very unhappy, severely underemployed, and has no real prospect of finding ...

**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.

**20**

votes

**5**answers

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 ...

**20**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Publication and Career as a fresh Ph.D

This may be a little off topic.
But as new Ph.D in geometry/topology area, I have a feeling that it is relatively harder to publish a descent paper. However after seeing some peers who study PDE or ...