I am currently an Australian studying at ANU. I have worked as a tutor for about a year and now I am about to apply for a Ph.D. program in the states. Since the US uses TA (teaching assistant) instead of tutor (at least my institution uses this term.) When listing my teaching experience, shall I use TA or tutor as a title? Are they the same thing? I run labs or tutorials, I mark exams and assignments and so on.)

You get asked to read and edit papers (more or less form the same research area) to become a co-author. The editing requires a lot of rearranging of paragraphs, rewriting sections, new/updated figures, lots of grammar and spelling mistakes, recalculating numbers, and so on.

I am curious to know what your experience is, does your own writing get better from editing papers?

I have heard opinions that it actually decreases your own writing ability – any references for that statement?

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I am an international student at a US university with a major in Physics. I am applying for PhD in astrophysics/gravitational physics fields. Until my sophomore year I was a Computer Science major with a Physics minor, but starting my junior year, I changed my major to Physics. During my sophomore year, I was suffering through home-sickness/depression and failed two of my Computer Science classes. (Later I did a computational project and won a prize at a hackathon). But I have A’s in all my Physics classes (including the upper level courses), and did a summer internship at a reputed institute in Germany. I am a senior with a 3.8 GPA in Physics and 3.5 overall GPA. I am not aiming for any top universities, but mostly to lower ranked schools with good Physics programs (that are within my GPA and GRE scores). Should I still consider applying to grad schools or change my career plans? How does this affect my application?

I have recently read an interesting article on number theory, published in a well-known mathematics journal. As a keen amateur mathematician, I have tried to develop some of the ideas presented in the paper. Surprisingly, I have come to a remarkable conclusion that might be worth publishing. Naturally, I first wanted to make sure that this has not been published before, so I tried to find papers that referenced the original article.

The issue is that websites that index or catalog scholarly material are off-limits to non-academics. In particular, in order to find references to certain papers or authors, one must first log in with an institution’s credentials, which obviously I do not possess. What are my options? Do I:

  • write up my research anyway and try to publish it, with the risk of wasting everybody’s time if a similar publication has already been made,
  • waste the original author’s time by asking him to send me a list of references to his article (with a high probability of having my request immediately discarded), or
  • pay a high subscription fee to these cataloging websites in order to find what I’m looking for?

Is there another way for me to go about this?

I’m working on a draft paper which will likely have no coauthors. I’m wondering how to phrase my paper, and the abstract especially, in terms of voice. Which of the following should I prefer?

  • “We present XYZ …”
  • “This paper/this work presents XYZ …”
  • “I present XYZ …”

The former sounds a bit too “royal”, the second is the passive voice which I tend to avoid, and the third seems overly presumptuous.

What should I go for? Or – am I missing a fourth option?

Note: In case it matters, the paper is in some branch of applied Computer Science.

I am a 2nd year PhD student in physics. Tenure-track positions are highly competitive and I do not love research enough to pursue it as a life career. Since I like programming and playing with data, I want to have a job as a data scientist after finishing my degree. I read some success stories of people who got degrees in Physics but works as data scientists but the people are from top universities like UC Berkely, Stanford, etc…
So my question is how doable it is for someone who only gets Physics degree from the low-rank university to find a job as a data scientist. What is the plan for the next years when I am still in my PhD program? What should I learn? How should I have real projects and internships to work on? Will working unpaid in a research lab about data analysis in my current university help?

I am in my first year of a finance PhD at a top 25 program. I could get through the program and get an okay job, but my goal isn’t just to be another professor, I want to be absolutely outstanding, which I think I am capable of, but I feel like right now I don’t have the math and stats background to be the best, and I can’t take enough electives during my coursework years to get that foundation I’m looking for.

Honestly I’d also like to get my PhD at a better school. Part of it is looking for better placement opportunities, part of it is looking for a better education/mentor, and part of it simply vanity I guess – if I’m going to get a PhD I want it to be the way is prefer, and I’d prefer a degree from a school I can really feel proud of.

So… what I’d LIKE to do is get an MS in statistics, an MS in math, then reapply to top 10 finance PhD programs (not only am I looking for more background, yes, I actually WANT to do this). And no, I’m not interested in just “learning after I’m an assistant professor”. I don’t see myself having time to get top publications while learning a bunch of background information, and I want to hit the ground running with my first job.

I’ve had some people tell me getting an MS in math before beginning my PhD was pointless and a waste of time, but I’ve discovered that a lot of the PhD advice I’ve been given was bad advice and I should have simply done what I thought was a good idea.

My question is whether this is a feasible plan or not.

Is there any rule concerning the use of lower/upper case letters in figures, charts, diagrams etc. to be used in scientific papers?

I tend to use lower case only (e.g., axis labels and legends), but a reviewer recently suggested that I should start each word with a capital letter.

I would be very thankful for any advice!