I had submitted my article to Mathematics journal of Elsevier in June 2016, and I keep on tracking my article since then. They put my article under review after one month. Every time I see in EES my article status date was July 2016. Now the status date changed to January 2017. What does this mean ?

I guess either reviewer might declined to review or editor is investigating the review outcomes. Am I correct ? Or something other than this is also possible ?

As a undergraduate, I wrote a paper with a professor in the physics department. He has uploaded the paper to arXiv and he forwarded me the email he (automatically) received upon submitting the article. Part of it states:

A paper password will be emailed to you when the article is announced.
You should share this with co-authors to allow them to claim ownership.

Does this mean, even as an undergraduate, I should create an acccount on arXiv (not sure if possible) and claim co-ownership of the article?

I’ve been a long time member of academia.SE but I created this alt account because the question is a bit embarrassing. I finished my PhD 4 years ago and after a 2 year postdoc at a different university secured a contractual lecturership. During my PhD I never realised I had fear of public speaking, because I always felt secure presenting in front of my supervisor. Even at conferences, his presence in the audience was enough to keep me relaxed.

Fast forward to my postdoc, I was mostly working and publishing by myself. So, even if I had to present something it was to my coauthors, with which I am okay. But as a lecturer doing research part of my time, I am involved in projects and seminars where I am expected to present my latest work. Being on my own has brought out my inner anxiety, so much so that I choked during a presentation, had to drink water to calm my nerves and apologise for my breathlessness and slurred speech. That was the most embarrasing thing in my life. Please note that the anxiety is not the result of me not publishing or doing research. I have published more than most in my department. Knowing that hasn’t helped with the anxiety though. I am constantly making excuses to get out of project presentations and seminar talks. Fortunately, the anxiety is less intense in teaching and I am able to manage.

How do I survive as an academic? Now even conference presentations seem daunting. I can publish exclusively in journals, but how do I get out of giving project and departmental presentations? How can I politely refuse to present without revealing my situation? Or better yet, how do I fix the whole thing? That one bad presentation has really messed me up.

After applied to a phd offer in a cluster group in Germany.
I’ve had a promising phone chat with one professor of the group. Our research interests are closely related and he told me i will receive a mail from the administration not from him.
The interview went well, he was even querying about the visa procedure. But it’s almost 20 days now and i did not received anything. I’m confused.
Should i contact him to ask? And what to write? As he as warned me that the administration always took too much time.
And i do not have any contact with the administration since the beginning.

It has long been known that people are quite bad at multitasking. It may seem strange that today most lecturers still assume that students are supposed to copy whatever is on the blackboard, thus having to simultaneously listen to and digest the concepts presented. This especially applies to pure mathematics, I think, where writing is in many cases extremely quick, and where the material often requires a little bit of time to digest. From my experience, as well as from other students’ the process of rapidly copying the material down from the blackboard takes up a good portion of attention span (and people from cognitive sciences do confirm that multitasking is a very ineffective approach for humans), thus rendering the process of conception of the material on the fly somewhat troublesome, creating more confusion than “necessary” and prompting to ask professors more questions, taking more time off of their lectures. Moreover, there are students who simply only copy the material, but are not fully engaged in the lectures for precisely this reason. These students (whom I believe are not very few) thus also have to spend considerably more time during the course of a semester in order to catch up with the material. I think that such approach to lectures is flawed, but the majority of professors still seems to use this approach.

Some professors, however, have adopted a different approach – they either conduct their lectures using pre-typed notes of their own (which they also post on their course websites), or they do write on the blackboard, but what they write is also posted online, which allows students to really engage their minds during a lecture.

What are one’s thoughts on this? Shouldn’t universities take this aspect into a serious consideration, and maybe even create a corresponding policy on this?

I have been teaching various subjects, both professionally and freelance tutoring, for a couple years. One thing I struggle with often is getting the students engaged at the most basic levels.

For example, it’s simpler to come up with a hands-on project when you are talking about intermediate or advanced subjects in whichever field you are teaching in – there’s more to work with. Where I have trouble is with the absolute basics, what would be the content of the first few lectures or class sessions. It’s hard to think of a sample project that is simple enough to do without getting too advanced too quickly, but still enough of a challenge to get the students experience with the basics.

I get a lot of comments from students saying that they learn the material better when there is a hands-on project to do, yet for the simple basic topics you often have to start with, these kinds of projects can be difficult to find.

Does anyone have any ideas, or know of a project (of any size) that would be effective at helping students grasp the more basic topics of some field, and yet interesting enough to keep them engaged and want to finish it? Or is there a particular approach that can help in these situations?

Is there an etiquette followed for asking about a possible (even if small) honorarium for invited talks? These are not talks at conferences but a stand-alone event on campus, open to the public, and rather stressful. As an early career academic I know this is quite important to have on a CV, and would accept the talk regardless, but would like to ask whether they would be able to pay me for this labor. Is there a way to do this kindly and courteously?

I am mulling over pros and cons of different advisers and a quirk I have found with some of the newer professors is the issue of lab start up activities. I have seen some anecdotes online about it being a bad deal overall, but I wanted to pose a few questions to the community on academia…

A few questions

  1. What constitutes as normal and what is a red flag for PIs requiring start up assistance?
  2. Are there benefits to being involved heavily with lab setup if you are not really committed to the academia route?
  3. What generates the time sink that seems to overburden most students?
  4. How can you mitigate this impact to time to degree?
  5. Where does one draw the line between beneficial experience vs being taken advantage of?

Any anecdotes, tips or advice on evaluating would be much appreciated

In a comment on another question Josef shared an anecdote.

And just another anecdote: A few weeks ago, there was a question hour at the last lecture timeslot before the exam. About ~25 of more than 120 people taking the course where there. Nobody actually had a question. All just wanted to hear the other questions…

I have seen this many times. Sometimes the lecturer can push students and someone will ask “what will be in the exam?” which is obviously useless and just makes the lecturer restate what (usually) is already told multiple times about content and procedure of the exam.

What should the lecturer do in such a case?

Technically it seems correct to just say “if you have no more questions, the session is over” and go home.

Yet there are times when the lecturer had to commute to this specific lecture and it seems travel-time spent in vain if nothing is actually done.

Students have also come in hopes that the session will help them prepare for exam. And usually the average question-session student is above the average from all the courses students, and lecturers don’t like to let down the more interested and responsible students who assumed they don’t want to miss this event. And usually this is what happens – the lecturer tries to improvise and talk on some subjects that seems more tricky/useful for the lecturer.

What are the best strategies so the lecturer could actually make the “question” session worth the attendees time?

I know it isn’t good to broaden the question intentionally, but solid plans how to prepare and avoid the no-question situation at all are also welcome here.