In page 8,

Fortunately his friend, Marcel Grossman attended class regularly and
took notes which he carefully rewrote. Grossman allowed Einstein to
use his notes to prepare for the final exams which he subsequently
passed. This is the first instance of Grossman coming to Einstein’s

Albert Einstein got lecture notes of Geometry (not sure if this is exactly geometry) classes from his personal friend rather than taking the class himself. Since he did not attend the class himself and take the notes himself, I feel that he was in an advantage compared to students attending the class and taking the notes themselves.

Not being an ethical hypocrite but I just feel this is unfair (A question comes from sympathy to his classmates in fact.). Personally, sometimes I feel too tired, or the professors bad at teaching but their notes are important (Sometimes one trick the professors ensure high attendance is to suddenly talk about exam questions in class.), or have time clash in the class, I wish I can get notes from someone rather than attending the class or just attending, concentrating on listening but not taking notes. But I feel that this is unethical as many students have the same problems. So if I do so, I have a “time advantage” compared to them.

Though I read this style quite often, I was recently told unambiguously by a reviewer that I was NOT supposed to use citations “as if they are objects in a sentence.” The following sentence is an example of what the reviewer considered unacceptable:

We analyzed the data using the Wilmerding method, guided by [12].

The references section might include the following:

[12] Smith, D., Marshawn, J., & Devenshaw, A. 2011. Techniques and
Procedures for Applying the Wilmerding Method.
Prince Publications,
Inc, New York, NY.

The Wilmerding method1 is not a step-by-step algorithm that can be precisely followed as if by a machine, and thus [12] does not provide a step-by-step algorithmic description but rather guidance for using the method. [12] is a relatively slim but authoritative textbook about how to use the Wilmerding method.

Within this question, for the purpose of discussion, I have intentionally put [12] in grammatical positions where it’s an important element of the sentence and the sentence would make less sense without the reference. Sometimes that seems to be the most efficient way to communicate the intended message. Is using a reference as a grammatical sentence element like this OK? Why might this not be considered acceptable? Should I be rewording those sentences? Is it enough of a violation to be worth passing the note on to authors of papers I review?

I considered posting this on EL&U but it seems more specific to academia than general English usage, and the comment came from a content reviewer rather than a copy editor. This question is related but it seems to be more about when to put authors names’ in vs. outside of the parentheses in an APA-like style.

The numbered citation style (as opposed to following APA, for example) is required by the venue.

1: Fictionalized for the purpose of this discussion

The university that gave me an offer only gave me two weeks to accept the offer. I asked them for an extension, and they only gave me a week more. I have still yet to hear from the other universities I applied to; since it is only mid March. I am quite confused as to what I should do, I don’t want to give back the offer after accepting it. But I also can’t predict what the other universities decisions would be and neither am I too confident as to reject the one offer I do have. Would appreciate some advice. I applied to Masters program in Physics, in Canada.

I’m 53 and have

  1. BSc in electrical and electronic engineer
  2. MSc in Microwave and optoelectronics
  3. PhD in medical physics.

I am director of an electronics company. I’d like to improve my maths/physics knowledge, as I feel this would be beneficial to my business.

I’m considering doing a maths or math/physics degree at the Open University, but are also considering just studying the material from the MIT OpenCourseWare.

and not doing a degree at all. (I would of course buy books, and not just rely on notes on the MIT website)

Obviously having 3 degrees, including a Ph.D, I’m not exactly new to studying. One can learn a lot from books. What I find attractive about MIT though is that it’s possible to

  1. See what courses are on the syllabus for a particular degree
  2. Find the course material for those courses.

The above said, I think having a lecturer you can turn to when unsure of something, is very useful. One would get that with the OU, but not the MIT OpenCourseWare.

I’m wondering if anyone can recommend any good websites where it is likely to be possible to get help in maths or physics at undergraduate degree level.


I’m 53 and have

  1. BSc in electrical and electronic engineer
  2. MSc in Microwave and optoelectronics
  3. PhD in medical physics.

I’m director of a very small company selling consulting services and some electronic calibration kits I design. (I’m the only employee of the company).

I’ve never felt mathematics was my strongest subject, and some of the things I would like the company to do are limited by my mathematical ability to read some very heavy scientific papers. There may be an element of lack of physics education too, despite of course electronics is quite a lot of physics.

I’m giving serious consideration to doing either a maths or maths/physics undergraduate degree.

For practical reasons – needing to earn a living, running a company, being married, having a dog …etc, it is not practical for me to go and do such a qualification full time in a “bricks and mortar” university, and nor do I see a part time course has being practical either, given the traveling time to any “local” university.

The idea of doing an Open University degree is semi-attractive, although I find it very annoying the OU will give me no credit for past experience, and expect me to start right from the basics, since I got my Ph.D more than 16 years ago.

I’m wondering if there are any any viable alternatives to the OU for a UK resident to get a maths/physics degree by distance learning? A few universities seem to do a bit of distance learning, but the choice of courses is limited, and I suspect it might be more poorer done than at the OU, where the OU have specialised in this for years.

I have been giving consideration of studying the course material from MIT OpenCourseWare

and not bothering about getting a degree at all, since I don’t really a bit of paper. But there are obvious advantages in having a lecturer you can ask questions to and get objective feedback on ones work, than if one just studies on ones own.


I am starting my PhD in astronomy this Fall and I have been accepted to Umass Amherst astronomy, UIUC astronomy, UT Dallas Physics and few other programs. But I am looking forward to attending either Umass Amherst or UIUC. I am interested to know if you can share any first hand experience about astronomy graduate program in either of these two institutes. I already visited Umass and I liked their groups, faculty-student relationship, research window and overall environment. I will be visiting UIUC soon. But even after these two visits I think I will still be confused on which program will be very well suited for me.
A little background from my side:

() I did my Bsc in Physics and masters in Physics from Umass Dartmouth
) My masters thesis was on computational astrophysics, but I would like to keep myself open to theoretical and computational astrophysics to observational and instrumentation, whatever suits me on the way.

() Amherst offers $29,600 for 12 months, with 95% coverage on health insurance
) UIUC offers $22,900 for 12 months, no health insurance coverage

It will be very helpful for me if you can point out pros and cons of these universities to help me make the right university choice.

I have seen people listing “memberships” on their CV. Do you have certain rules of thumb for what to list? I have some myself, which are basically memberships that have happened automatically, when I have been invited to give talks – like, come give a talk, and please join our “board of associates”. I don’t do any work in those roles, and listing them feels a bit like CV padding. I am in the beginning of my career (first post doc).

What is the normal practice?

I’ve been trying to model a non-coding RNA molecule which binds to a RNA binding protein.
I found the DNA sequence for ncRNA from NCBI. I did not find the RNA seq of the same. Hence my doubt is, whether we should take the DNA seq and convert all the thymidine to uridine and then take that sequence for RNA modelling.
Also, I wanted know if there is any kind of splicing occurring in case of ncRNA formation.
Thank you in Advance.