This question is part of a project funded by the International Council for Science, supported by the IMU (among other bodies). Answers gathered here on mathoverflow may be included in the final report.

The question is NOT "How can maths researcher training be improved?" It is, rather, "What questions should the relevant social and human sciences investigate, in order to establish knowledge useful for policy aimed at improving maths researcher training?"

The project will use the method described here to group and prioritise questions.

Here is text from the first link, describing the project:

IUHPS (DLMPS): Cultures of Mathematical Research Training This project aims to mobilize the energies of a currently very active research area (the study of Practice and Cultures of Mathematics) to provide the theoretical and empirical resources for designing improvements to the training of the next generations of mathematical researchers and the improvement of research education in developing countries.

Work on mathematical research cultures will focus on the perspectives of new entrants to mathematical research and develop a theoretical framework for further discussions on various levels, including the policy level. We anticipate that analytical tools developed in cultural studies and cultural anthropology (such as power-distance, or grid-group analysis) will help the identification of research cultures and their associated obstacles and opportunities.

During the course of the project, we will develop a concrete plan for a survey project of various mathematical research-cultures that is of common interest to both academic researchers in mathematical practice and the societal stakeholders (e.g., funding agencies, universities, research policy officials and international bodies such as the IUHPS and the IMU).


closed as off-topic by coudy, Alex Degtyarev, Christian Remling, Stefan Kohl, Alexandre Eremenko May 15 '15 at 0:02

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about research level mathematics within the scope defined in the help center." – Christian Remling, Alexandre Eremenko
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ What kind of project is this? Instead of improving something or at least learning how it can be improved, we try to learn how to "ask questions to establish knowledge to create a policy to try to improve that". What does it make social sciences? In Turkish, there is a very nice verbal form (at least, that's what they told me): "yapmak" = to do, "yaptirmak" = to ask someone do that, and then you can iterate: "yaptirtmak" etc. Sounds very similar! $\endgroup$ – Alex Degtyarev May 14 '15 at 18:51
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    $\begingroup$ Is undergraduate mathematics considered part of "mathematics researcher training"? $\endgroup$ – goblin May 14 '15 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ The link that you gave suggests that the project is focused on developing countries that do not already have a strong research culture. Answers in that context will be very different from answers in the more obvious context of US and European research universities. You should clarify which context you are interested in. $\endgroup$ – Neil Strickland May 14 '15 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ @NeilStrickland Or one that has been eroded... $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi May 14 '15 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ "ologists" from social and humanity science should not interfere in training of research mathematicians, the thing which they do not understand. $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko May 15 '15 at 0:04

My initial reaction to this question's title could be viewed as a negative one. The off-the-cuff response was "Learn how to find and read the 'how-to-find-and-read' webpage for a forum, to determine if the place you are looking is the right one. By the way, the one for this forum is easily found. You might consider another forum for this question." This is partly because I think this is the wrong forum for such a question.

After I read the question body, I thought "Oops! Good thing I didn't type my first response as a comment." Then I thought, "Why is it a good thing?"

I think a job of a researcher is to make connections obvious in order that they may be useful. Having thought about spme of the issues raised by the corpus of James Burke (starting with the TV series "Connections"), it seems to me that a proper organizing principle of research should be formulated, so that such connections can be generated by humans and software.

Although I think the question is best asked elsewhere, a partial answer suggests studying new forms of representing and organizing information, and not just to improve research, but also exposition.

More later.


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