I’m preparing to apply to PhD programs. My current master thesis PI has an unpleasant personality and always used tactics to postpone the graduation of the students in order to keep them longer. It is useless to report an advisor in our country and students have to endure. I quarreled with him one time in order to get the degree. I sincerely apologized in front of lab members and him.

Besides, he was the only faculty member who is familiar with my research. There is no supervisory committee. So I am concerned about the LOR from him.

Which solution might be better? Or is there other better solutions?

  1. Do not request current PI for LOR. Rather, describe the fact he likes postponing his students’ graduation in the PS and the interview. This seems a bad solution.

  2. Do not request current PI for LOR. Say nothing in the PS or in the interview. However, if I am asked during the interview, should I say that he wants me to stay longer ?

  3. Request current PI for LOR, which may be a possibly negative letter. However, no one knows the result. It is impolite to ask if he would write a strong recommendation letter for me. He has not denied my request of LOR directly, but he said he is too busy. I am not sure if he would finally write it for me.

I’m a mathematics student looking to invest in a good chalkboard for my room. I currently have a cheap Quartet but I find it is not very good compared to chalkboards at my school. It is not very smooth and doesn’t erase cleanly. I have even purchased the porcelain Quartet and found it still is not very good.

At my school, I have seen a swivel Marsh industries board and it is really smooth, erases very cleanly. However, I do not know what brand is used on the walls of the classrooms.

Is there a specific brand of chalkboards used in colleges? What is your favorite brand?

I am one month away from finishing my dissertation. I did not receive much guidance from my supervisor, so I asked a co-supervisor to join my project about two years after I started (with still two years left). In these two years I think I had 5 or 6 meetings with him, which is not too often, but his feedback in these moments was always very valuable. Moreover, when my relation with my supervisor deteriorated, he was there to ‘protect’ me. I am pretty sure I would not still be working as a graduate student otherwise.

He now points these things out to me in quite an angry way via email and argues that I have not provided him with enough output to justify the time he has spend on me. We currently have one paper together that is under review. I have no idea how to provide more output for him because we have no other papers together. I have only one month left in my current contract so I don’t want to start a new paper. I can put his name on another paper that’s currently under review but that doesn’t feel right since he did not contribute to this paper.

Right now I feel very stressed about this and I have no idea what to do. I cannot afford to have a bad relationship with my co-supervisor right before I wish to submit my dissertation but I also feel this guilt trip is not fair. What do you think? Do you see a solution? Thanks for your advice!

When I say second year, it says I have just got into my stream. So, I know very less about the programming languages. Even though I know C language, I realized Java plays a major role in projects since when I approached my lecturer for starting up any project in my second year he was like, I should be knowing Java. So now, if I want to do internship in my second year what should I be knowing?

As a professor, are you permitted to prohibit Ph.D. students from joining your research group if you know they have a boy/girlfriend, are married, who don’t come in on weekends, who don’t stay late, etc…?

The professor does not intend to make them work on stuff related to my research outside of normal working hours. Rather, the supervisors would like their students to be driven enough to study/read publications and books about topics outside their particular research program during those times.

That way, supposedly, by the time they graduate, they will be very well rounded, and also develop their own research programs in meaningful ways.

I’m in college with average GPA , currently sophomore computer science student . I worked on several projects which were required in my courses but I don’t have internship experience yet. If possible I’d rather doing my internship in Europe because I want to broaden my experience and make contacts for future job opportunities.
I would like to hear advices , I will appreciate your help with this situation.

I am meeting with the faculty of my university (Economics), representing the students – mostly undergrads. Me and some other students have been trying to improve the student-faculty relations at our uni, mostly related to getting students involved in faculty’s research. There is a large gap between undergrad and grad students in terms of their cooperation and relationships with faculty, and we would like do do something about it.

I dont have any specific questions. However, I would like to hear if any of you have any specific examples of how undergrads are able to become more engaged with research? For instance through research assistantships etc.

I am a PhD candidate. My advisor told me to make and organize a lecture course. Why? Because he has little knowledge about what the lecture course will deal with. I have more knowledge than him.

Students attend class two times per week. One day, they give presentation about paper reviews related with this course. The other day, I conduct the class and give them knowledge in order to understand papers. In both days in a week, he does nothing.

I don’t think it’s normal. Even though he gives me many thanks for conducting the class, my feeling isn’t going well. Even worse, I don’t get paid.

However, a (de-facto) vertical relationship between he and I, I don’t know what should I do. I am not sure a research ethic committee can protect my privacy.

I am a second semester PhD student. I have no publications until now. In the lab I am currently, we use some sort of academic journal to keep track of our progress. Due to classc and TA workload I did not make research progress for two weeks. When I saw my advisor I had not properly structured my journal update. To make things worse when he asked me how much time I did spend on non research activities I was unable to answer as I did not keep track of time.

This discussion ended up with my advisor saying that he might have to convert me to a master’s student if I progress like that. He fears I may not be able to make any research progress within the semester with the current rate. He mentioned this warning will be given only once. He said that I should have adapted to the lab’s pace until now, as he considers me to be a second year phd student due to having collaborated with the lab for a month ,a semester before joining the program. (Although I’m currently in the second semester of the first year).

I recognize that my progress was not appropriate, neither was the way to report this through the journal. However I felt that the threat of being converted to a master student is something I really want to avoid.

Therefore I want to try really hard as my goal is the PhD.
However doubts have clouded my head and I felt I may also have a collaboration issue. I may need to look for another advisor too although i still believe that if I dont improve something like that may happen again regardless of advisor.

I believe my advisor is a really good and experienced scientist and I respect him, although he can be harsh at times, but:

  • He has converted other PhD students to Master status in the past (at
    least twice).
  • Also he is very busy and it is not possible for him to discuss research with me for more than 20 minutes per week . (Although some weeks he does not have time at all.)
  • In order to graduate from this lab I will need 3 conference publications and 3 journals as a first author.(Althoough he keeps changing details about this depending on given situation and the persons involved)
  • Other students of the lab manage to make appropriate progress but most of them seem quite dissatisfied in general.
  • Another thing I did not like, is that my advisor encouraged some students to publish survey papers. However afterwards he
    mentioned that they can not yet graduate as the 6 papers he wants
    us to publish can only be reasearch related and not surveys.

I don’t know if these are standard behaviours but all these issues make me very upset.

In this post I tried to give both my failings and my worries.
I know some of the things mentioned are not my bussiness but I fear they might also happen to me in the future.

What are your suggestions for my situation ?

Should I ignore all these and just try harder or should I change my course of action ?
Or do both ?