14
votes
7answers
701 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 ...
39
votes
11answers
6k 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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
426 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
38
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
409 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
891 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
308 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
829 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 ...
5
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
40
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 ...
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
873 views

going from one subject in PhD to another in Postdoc. [closed]

Hi, my question is: Is it acceptable to do a PhD in mathematics in a topic such as Number Theory and or Analysis and change subjects in postdoc to something different than these topics such as ...
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 ...
16
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
660 views

Advice on giving a good job talk [closed]

Dear Mathforum, I am giving a job talk in the next couple of weeks and I am still struggling to come up with a suitable talk. I graduated in september of 2010 and so I have been a post doc for a ...
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

How important is it for one on the job market to have thought about suitable REU projects?

An REU is a "Research Experience for Undergraduates" and entails undergrads (usually after their junior year) coming for 8-10 weeks out of the summer to University X to learn about and work on a ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Notable math from those without math PhDs [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What recent discoveries have amateur mathematicians made? Can anyone give historical examples of people outside of mathematics that have contributed to the literature? ...
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 ...
20
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.
25
votes
14answers
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What are an adviser's responsibilities? [closed]

There seems to be a wide variance in what faculty members view as their responsibilities as a student’s adviser. I understand that some advisers go above and beyond what's expected and we can't hold ...
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
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Universities not listed on mathjobs

I am now applying for postdoc positions and faculty positions at teaching colleges, all through mathjobs. I have a location constraint, and so am applying to universities all within a single ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
53
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
83
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 ...
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 ...
28
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
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
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 ...
68
votes
13answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
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. ...
9
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...