This might seem like a small problem, but one I’ve been thinking about lately, and was hoping for some insights. I joined a new lab around a year ago, and while things have mostly been going great, my lab colleagues are really not the brightest group. They are wonderful people to work with (and friends in a non-work sense), but just not engaging when it comes to the science. They basically fall into two categories: 1) average students. Average at everything basically. Not bad in any way, but just… not great either. Cannot have an intellectual conversation with them. 2) Very smart, but not hard-working. Takes short-cuts etc. Essentially someone who is very good at talking the talk, but not really walking the walk. Again, very smart people, but overtime I’m just losing respect for them as scientists.

I guess I was just used to (and took for granted) working with great people who are engaging, and who you can have a real “science” conversation with. People I respect and have learnt so much from. To be honest I’ve been a little down lately because I just miss being surrounded by great colleagues. I know it’s a downside to joining a new lab, and that it’ll likely get better as our lab grows, but I’m still regretting the growth opportunities I’m missing out on. My advisor is basically the only person in our group I can have a real conversation with. Even our lab manager is just a few years older than me, and I can tell she sees this as nothing more than a job that pays the bills. All of our conversations I walk away from feeling indifferent and having gained nothing. This probably seems like a silly problem, but I was just wondering if anyone has had similar experiences or have advice.

Is there anyone here who can classify these crops in three groups (low, medium and high irrigation water need) for me? Semi-Arid climate is assumed.

If there is a Reference for it please mention.

Wheat / Barley / Pea / Lentil / Potato / Tomato / Watermelon / Alfalfa / Pear / Cherry / greengage / Peach/ Apricot / sour cherry / Blueberries / Berry / Almond / Bean / Onion/ Cucumbers/ Apple / Grapes / Walnut / Rapeseed-Canola Corn / quince / Plum / BellPepper / Zucchini/

The following question contains sensitive and discussion on a potential suggestion of a criminal countermeasure. Therefore please close and/or delete the question asap if it turns out to be unacceptable/inapproporiate (NB Nothing in the meta said question of this nature cannot be posted, as evidenced by the various “is it legal to X” question. It will be a good idea to discuss about a dangerous idea so that people will become aware of its implications and how to handle it when it happens)

UPDATE: Question have been rephrased as per comment’s advice

Recently, I came across this nice article thus being introduced more about the concept of predatory journals and publishers, on how they basically are 419 spams in disguise.

There’s a nice list of predatory publishers included which helps to identify them.

While a separate link considers a variety of methods on what to do with them. I am wondering about a hypothetical scenario of the impacts caused by a extremely mad professor that is secretly a skillful hacker who had been annoyed by this and decided a dark sided approach to this problem, by effectively “DDoS” their servers into inoperation taking advantage of paper generators to generate a huge number of bogus papers for submission, and unlike the famous Get me Off your fucking mailing list case, all authors that are generated are not real. Therefore, such professor is effectively fighting spam with spam and thus possibly in breach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (If in USA).

The question is then about the possible impact such criminal will cause and how to detect those impacts early

  1. *Suppose the plan actually backfires and actually worsen the already bad problem of post truths due to how it increases the number of refined articles made by the predatory publisher to reach the media, and thus increase the exposure of junk science to the public due to the media citing them, how should the damage be mitigated?
  2. Any other potentially dangerous impacts that is not covered by the above questions?

I have a paper that includes citations from two authors. Citations from the first author appear only in the first half of the paper, while those from the second author appear only in the second half. Do I need to cite the author’s name in every citation, or can I just cite the first author once and leave other citations with just page numbers until I get to the second author? This is in MLA format, by the way. Any help would be appreciated.

Is it a rule in MLA style to have the addition “n.pag.” also in parenthetical reference to a source that has no pagination? Or is the addition only required in the works cited?

source: Miller, Arthur. “All the Small Things.” New York: 1980, n. pag.

In the 1980 essay “All the Small Things” Miller goes on to say that “all things are small” (n. pag.). This is interesting because …

I am planning on pursuing a ph.d. in mathematics, however, really my research interests often lie in the intersection of mathematics, logic, and theoretical computer science. Thus, in many of the universities I would like to apply to, I do not have very many common research interests with the mathematics faculty, but instead with the computer science or philosophy faculty.

Is it fine to mention that my primary research interests are actually outside the mathematics department in my letters of intent, should I try to word it to sound more like I am simply interested in interdisciplinary collaboration with other departments, or would even that harm my chances of getting accepted?

I suppose another question I have implicitly is: “…Or would it be better for me to apply for a ph.d. in Computer Science instead if the person at the university who most matches my research interests is in the computer science department?”, or at least, what other factors should I consider to determine which way I should go (Math, or Computer Science) for a given university?

For what it’s worth, my undergraduate degree is in mathematics with a minor in computer science.

There’s a popular math textbook I enjoyed a lot when I was a grad student. Recently I noticed an extension to one of the many interesting exercises provided by the textbook. I’d like to communicate this idea with the textbook author (single author).

The exercise is to calculate and show an amazing coincidence, and the way it is phrased in the textbook suggests that the author didn’t think there could be an explanation. I think I found an interpretation, and I think it might make this exercise richer if the author adds a couple of subquestions guiding readers to discover this viewpoint for on this coincidence.

My Question Is This:

Is it considered inappropriate to email the author and suggest this as a possible improvement?
The interpretation to that exercise is somewhat technically intensive and hard to explain in a few words. Should I try to make it brief or should I make it solid that undoubtedly my interpretation is correct?

I’m worried that my suggestion might appear either rude (as if the author doesn’t know this already) or annoying (just too lengthy), or it might seem like a clumsy attempt to advertise myself (like a lot of layman claiming to have made a breakthrough).

I think it’s 50/50 whether or not the author might have known this interpretation all along but simply didn’t include it in the exercise for various reasons. Even under this circumstances, this coincidence is so intriguing that I still think a few words from the author encouraging readers to explore it would completely change the tone of this exercise.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, thank you. This question might be mostly opinion based thus not suited for this site, and I’ll be fine with that.


I’m on a 6-year-long hiatus from the academia, going on to the 7th year, I currently don’t affiliate to any institution. I’ve been keeping a certain level of capability to do this subfield in math, and I’m about 95% confident that my result is correct. Currently I have no plans to return to the academia within the next 2 to 3 years, but things might change.

On my letters of recommendation, I was asked to rate if a student was

  • Top 1-2%
  • Top 5%
  • Top 10%
  • Top 25%
  • Top 50%, or
  • Not in the top 50%

The student got an A in my class, and scored in the top 25% of students, class-rank-wise. But I am afraid that if I rate them as “top 25%,” and they are applying to a top program, it will make them look like a bad student.

Does the admissions committee discard or look negatively upon all recommendations that aren’t top 1-2% or top 5%?

(If it matters, I teach at a top 10 university, so someone who is top 25% here will probably be top 1-2% at a more middling university.)

I just started a PhD at a US top 10 uni on the east coast. I’m studying for my generals in January right now and recently got situated in a research group.

During my applications to grad schools, I intended to go into a certain subfield of physics. I narrowed down my choices based solely on which faculty in that subfield were at which universities and eventually chose my current location because of the brand-name recognition (I intend to go into industry after graduation). When I got to this university this fall, I switched subfields entirely.

The thesis project my advisor has for me is interesting, he is rumored to be an excellent advisor, and the lab dynamic is actually great. But there’s something unsettling about knowing exactly how the next 6 years of my life will be. I am getting really anxious about being stuck on the east coast (which I find to be miserable, no offense) doing exactly what I see his current graduate students doing, 2 weeks off per year, in the same tiny shared office and lab space.

I am really getting the urge to transfer to UC Boulder or San Diego where I feel like I can live my life in an enjoyable way outside of the lab while still getting a great training. I also have deep regret for choosing this school based on its faculty for a subfield I am no longer working in. I feel like I would have chosen a uni at a better location had I known this.

I’m not sure what to do. Is transferring the right move? How different will my career prospects be with a PhD from UC Boulder vs Harvard/Princeton/Yale if I’m going into industry? If I wanted to transfer to a different program, would I need to apply for Fall 2017? (Application deadline in one week). Am I expected to explain why I am transferring? What would I do over the summer? Do I need letters of recommendation from my current institution, given that I haven’t done much here?