I come from a university where the first two digits of your student number represents when you started in the university. As such people often use this to judge age, whether the person is repeating or changed course, or is an incoming postgraduate. Student numbers are the identifier for students, and are consequently used in all official capacities, but also in terms of clubs and societies. Attempting to join a club without the right two digits can often be difficult; generally lower digits are a serious social no-no. A student number can never be changed, under any circumstances. If someone starts a course with a hiatus of twenty years, they will still be using their original number. There is also the issue of semi-anonymized information being easy to identify if results are given out using people’s student numbers (if someone doesn’t have the same first two digits as the rest of his peers).

Naturally a unique identifier is a positive thing for managing information. Also having consistency in relation to the manner in which information is recorded is also good. So what sort of action could be performed at the level of the institution to remove this bizarre social stigma, and increase campus social integration, without potentially damaging the integrity in the way in which information is managed (and incurring additional costs of implementation).

I am a PhD student and apart from academic supervisors I also have a mentor. This mentor I haven’t met in person yet and have only communicated through email once. But I am going to meet the mentor in person in a conference. My question is how am I going to introduce myself to him? It is important for me to make a good connection with this mentor. Since I wrote that email long time ago he might not remember me at all.

How do I approach him? Should I mention to him that he is my mentor and then explain to him what I am doing in my research?
Is it okay to say that he is being assigned as my mentor ? How can I say this politely?

I’m writing a detailed review article (for submission for publication) that aims to survey the various proposed explanations for a particular biological phenomenon. I’m aware of one explanation (that was proposed 20+ years ago), but a number of papers since then have pointed out fatal flaws in its logic. The original paper was published in a respectable journal and has been relatively well cited, since many papers on this phenomenon include some form of survey of the proposed hypotheses. However, it has not received any (published) support, experimental or otherwise.

At what point can we, as researchers in the field, consider the matter closed, and cease to refer to the refuted hypothesis? It seems a waste of space to spend a paragraph detailing one argument, only to spend the next paragraph explaining why it is flawed, and then not referring to it again. On the other hand, does it damage the credibility of my review if I omit one of the hypotheses without any justification?

I am a bachelor student at the second year of studies (Physics), but I’m an independent programmer since many more years.

Now, I have some data about an algorithm I’ve done and I would like to present the results on a research paper – I have a high level of understanding of the theory behind, and some background of theoretical computer science. Is it “reasonable” to write a paper with no titles at all (high school) and without the name of my university maybe?
I don’t know whether include it or not, since the topic is not related to what I study there.

I am a Ph.D. student who decided to change the direction midway. At a high level, I work on combinatorial optimization under uncertainty. In my proposal, I had said that I would use a technique A and its variants to tackle my problem. But now I have become disinterested in this direction.

  1. I want to broaden my combinatorial optimization problem to P’ so that I can consider a technique B which is totally unrelated to A, and since I broadened the problem I cannot directly compare the results from A.

  2. Furthermore, I want to make some more changes in the problem to P” and then use a technique C.

Now I have problems P,P’, P” which are variants of same combinatorial optimization problem under uncertainty but the techniques A, B and C are completely different and the results cannot be compared directly. Though I will compare A, B and C with techniques from literature separately. The underlying link is that all these problems are characterized by uncertain information.

Can I rope this into a thesis? Please note that I have finished my work with P, A and am starting to think about P’, B. My concern is that there is a gap between these sub-topics and my Ph.D. thesis might lack cohesion. Suggestions/advice requested.

I have a math-related PhD but currently work as a software developer. I wanted to build software for a while. One day, when I retire from software development, is it possible to “join” a local university’s math/cs department as an independent scholar? All I need is a PhD student desk and access to the libraries. I can fund my own travel & overhead fees. Has this ever been done before? I just don’t want to move around for a job and face the immense pressure of publish or perish.

I am planning on doing research mathematics at a university or similar institution as a career. I have heard that it is important to diversify your studies (not attend the same school for undergrad, masters, and PhD). Is this true? What if I am already going to a good school, with the potential to work with people in the forefront of my field?

I am currently doing my undergrad degree, but when it comes time to do my masters, is it important to find a different school, or will staying in the same place hurt my job prospects? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!