As a theorist my chief capital costs are software and computers (for large calculations and simulations). If starting at a new institution I would ask for these in my start up budget. But in 5 years these items might all be obsolete and incompatible. What do I do then?

I understand that most schools have computer replacement programs every x years but the type of computers I would be asking for in start-up are quite expensive and not your typical campus machine.

I am curious what other theorists have done. Especially interested in those that might be at a primarily undergraduate institution.

A large portion of students in a class I’m taking did very poorly on the first project that was assigned in the class. The professor has decided to allow students that did not get full points on the project to increase their grade on project 1 by a percentage of their project 2 grade.

However, the way the that increase is calculated does nothing for the people that did project 1 correctly and received full points. I feel that this is an unfair application of extra credit as it only rewards those that didn’t do the first project correctly.

Am I being reasonable when I see this as unfair?

I am an international student and doing Ph.D. in Physics at a US university.

My teaching assistant (TA) duty is to tutor undergrad students. I am supposed to solve whatever problems undergrads bringing to me. The problem is that I do not know which problems they are having to prepare in advance. Every undergrad from every lab, class in the physics department can bring whatever homework they have to me to ask. Also, I am an International Student and when I was an undergrad, I did not use the textbook undergrad here in US use and many problems are totally strange to me. Sometimes I cannot solve their homework problems. I felt very embarrassed and sorry since I wasted their time, sitting there for 15 -20 minutes to wait for me to solve it.

I am not a terribly bad student, I consistently perform about 80 percent for all the courses as well as standard exams like GRE Physics. But I feel like I am not smart enough to pursue a Ph.D. Sometimes I can come up with very good solutions for grad problems but I am not a fast thinker to solve some undergrad problems which might be solved in a very simple way.

Do grad schools train grad students to be teaching assistants? I think the Ph.D. students need to be prepared to do good TA jobs, isn’t it? For example, if someone teaches labs, they should know the content of the lab for that day to come in preparation? How can I become a better TA given my described task?

I noticed today that the function that returns the numbers of ways to add two squares in order to express an integer was giving me consistent numbers that I expected to see in a different field – pythagorean triangle geometry. “SquaresQ” in Mathematica. It was also consistently returning factors of 2,3 and 5 along with distinct larger, distinct, consistent prime factors. Every time, many times.

Seems that the density of numbers that can be represented as two squares or three squares have “coefficients”, and the coefficients were 2 and 4/3, also straight from elementary geometry, the equations for round objects in 2 and 3 dimensions (when I asked about representations of 2 or 3 squares, go figure)

So just for fun I checked the problem out as a representation of 4 square integers to see what the coefficient is on that hypothetical object. I got 6 2/3

I’m choosing the direction for my graduate study. I like Maths, but have limited exposure to different areas of it. As I’ve only just finished my Bachelor, I can’t say for sure what my strengths are, or what my direction would be after graduate school. However, I don’t think I want to do research in the long terms, at least not in an Universities. A technical role in the industry is more appealing to me at the moment.

I’m planning to do my Master in Europe, most likely Germany.

Also by “Pure Maths” I mean areas like Topology, Algebra, Geometry, Combinatorics, etc.

I’m aware that all areas have their own difficult unsolved problems and are comprised of both theory and practical applications. I’m just asking about this issue as strictly applied to graduate-level taught programs.

I am graduate research assistant at university of Oklahoma. I am not sure this question can be in this category.

I am having trouble with FED/EE and OSADI/EE tax issue with the university payroll office staff. It is obvious that they made a administration mistake on my file, and charged me extra $150 on January check.

They tried to misdirect me using wrong information (such as late enrollment and my course is invalid course) to avoid to give my money back, I explained that I did follow all the guideline. Now they are not replying me my email and try to avoid the situation.

It is only $150, but I feel very disappointed on their responses. What is the best way to approach the problem? I want to get my money back no matter how much time and effect it takes.