I’m attending a university this fall, where I’ve received a lot of money in grants from financial aid. I’ve heard that I will be picking up a check with my financial awards each semester. I am living off-campus as I live in town (in-state), meaning I only have to pay about $5,500 each Fall and Spring. I’ve Received around $16,000 in grants per year, and I’ve heard a lot of speculation about what I can do with that extra money.

I’ve been told that, so long as I complete the year with all the university’s academic conditions, that money is mine to use as I see fit. On the contrary, I’ve also been told by a separate party that I may get a fine for spending the money anywhere outside of the university.

In addition to this, I have scholarships that will be awarded in the next two weeks. If those go towards that $5,500, does that mean I have even more left over grants at my disposal?

I feel so depressed at the moment, and my friend suggested me to go to this website. I am a Ph.D. student, and I just have done my 22nd appraisal. However, it turns out I don’t perform well at the appraisal and I look really bad in front of my panel, and my supervisors. A day after that, they said that I am failed. And they tell me to reconsider my will to finish my PhD. To be honest I am still want to finish my PhD. I am almost there (that was my idea, but my supervisors said that I am way far behind then almost there). My supervisors giving up on me, and my friend said is not a good idea, to get new supervisors because it seems any supervisors on my Uni already have a student. Once again i really want to finish my PhD and I am gonna do most anything to be able to get my PhD finish. If there anyone could think a good suggestion for me, please do let me know. thank you very much =)

I was junior science engineer, then went to business and now I am doing my masters degree in computer science and playing with idea about my own startup. Artificial General Intelligence and cognitive robotics are themes of my endeavours. From time to time I am excited about things these sciences can achieve, about possible transformation of the world that can appear possible by exploitation of the research results.

And then these questions spring up:

  • If self-learning and self-improving Goedel machine is implemented is it honestly that all the monetary results from its activity will belong to those “business angels” who invested initial capital? What will the remainig people do, how they will earn money when there is universal intellect which can create all the necessary machines.
  • If self-learning agent has passion for knowledge and has abilities to use the knowledge for the benefit of all the humanity, then will it be honestly to pay billions and billions to Springer and Elsevier for allowing the agent to read the entire library of journals they have?
  • Will there be IP and data monopolies that will hinder development of startups? Will the healthcare, automatic mathematics, robotics startups be dependent on the IP and data monopolies and why humanity should suffer from such monopolies?
  • Every applied science has its roots in fundamental science. There is no boost in technology without developments in fundamental science. We can see this even today. Google, Facebook are investing enormous money in statistican and subsymbolic methods of artificial intelligence and the results are modest while fundamental science continues to brew and advance the symbolic and logic methods and after some effort the new wave of innovations will happen due to symbolic methods. Businesses will reap rewards but thousands of scientists will be left with their paycheck only.

So, while reading and doing my course works I need from time to time think that communism can be the rigth answer for the near future – it will redistribute monetary results failry, it will enable equal opportunities for all, it will open data and IP resources to anyone and great innovation and experiments will be possible, there will be no concentration of the wealth, there will be social security for all. And so on, so on.

How often academics (scientists and students) in advanced disciplines experience thoughs about communism as the near future of our society and should we nurture these thoughts (and maybe transform them into purposeful activities, like open source development or public education activities) or should we avoid these thoughts and stay with capitalism and try to believe that capitalism and market economic ultimatly takes the right decisions. What is your personal recipe for success in this regard?

How the achieved research results shape the world view of academics and should we be cautious where it leads us and should we have some mental guidance not be overwhelmed by what happens in the science?

I am aware about social democracy (in fact I am member of the social democrat party of my country), but I can see that AGI and cognitive robotics can be truly transforming society beyond usual technological shock. E.g. futurism.com ir popular resource, but there are many more resources like:

I guess – very much depends on the field in which the scientist works.

When writing a thesis or a research paper in general, is it advisable to include “time-specific measures” like

[…] over the course of the last five years […]


Two years ago, it was discovered […]


After all, if it is a working paper which gets published in a journal a few years after completion, the reader might get a wrong idea about when certain events happened in the past.

I wonder whether it is acceptable to include them nonetheless.

Note, by highly technical skills I mean anything that isn’t directly taught by your course (i.e. programming/coding, use of specialist lab equipment, mathematical expertise)

I am student of Earth Sciences/Geography within the UK.

I’m planning on doing a masters and in brainstorming ideas for my application’s thesis proposal, I often run up against the issue of lacking specific technical skills needed to conduct the study. Should I let this hamper me? I worry I’m restricting my potential by only choosing topics in which I can wholly conduct every step of the research/analysis independently.

For example, my undergraduate dissertation required large datasets and modifying open-source software, meaning I independently taught my self to code. Another student looked at microfossils which required the use of a spectrometer.

Although both of skills were not taught to us, I independently taught my self to code while uni staff operated the spectrometer machine for my peer, meaning he didn’t have to learn it.

If I want to study, say, microplastics in fish, will I need to be able know how to use the required lab equipment and interpret the results or is it acceptable to outsource this?


To word my question another way, University thesis: How can you utilise highly technical skills without falling into the rut of teaching your self everything from scratch?

I taught my self coding for the sake of my undergraduate dissertation, at the cost of a loss of free time which could be spent on my area of study (Earth Science, not Computer Science). Coding is not the direction I want to take in life despite the effort to learn it. I, therefore, do not want to invest so heavily in another one-off skill for my masters.

My two main concerns are:

  • Restricting my potential research topics to studies which I can wholly conduct and interpret each research technique.
  • Become stuck teaching my self a skill which I do not desire to follow up in the future (i.e. a statistical technique, coding, lab equip)
  • Use up a lot of time independently learning said technique

Real life example

In the question linked here, a SE user discusses how during his masters two programmers were hired to help with programming. Would it be reasonable to request the university for someone to help with a skill I’ve not been taught (i.e. coding or high-level statistics) for my master’s thesis?

I had a brief skype job interview for the position of department head at a mid-size/rank university in England. One of the key questions was about my plans for the international student recruitment. Contrary to other questions, I felt that they are not satisfied with my answer because I really didn’t have a special plan for this. Still, I think a department head can support this but cannot think of any new plan to do so.

Do you have a convincing answer to this interview question?

I learned by myself, all night, every night. I won’t sleep/take a bath if I saw some things result differently. I read all those complex papers and tried my best to understand it, I translated everything. I coded everything. I analyzed everything. I visualized all those complex charts and testing by myself on the software, I didn’t even go to my very close friend seminar(final year proj. presentation where you have to stand your research in front of examiners), everything done by myself.

The final year proj. turned into a Int. journal consideration in the faculty with some others candidate of final years projects, I’m a bachelor candidate, will graduate next month. When the journal paper submitted to the faculty, the final year mentor, wants in the first place on the names row in the journal. The journal submitted already.

Why action should I do?

As a new researcher, I am in the following situation in mathematics research:

I read paper X, a short paper published in a low-mid tier journal, and found a way to improve and extend the result. The technique I used to extend the result is a different approach to the problem, but not that mathematically technical. However, even though the mathematical extensions are (arguably) trivial, the extensions open the door to a much broader approach to my field. They also open the door up for interesting simple examples that were previously unable to be produced.

I am currently writing up my findings of the original extension in a paper. In this paper, I correctly reference paper X when necessary. From an ethical point of view, it is crystal clear what I did and didn’t do.

1) Is it bad to compare to one single paper often in a paper?
2) What is a good way to tell whether a result is incremental or not?
3) Some of the arguments in paper X need slight modifications under my extension. Is it okay to repeat some of their ideas in my proofs (with clear citation/credit of course)?

Another problem arising from 2): I have another, much more interesting result because of this extension that I have not published. However, this result moves in a different mathematical direction and therefore, I sort of want to write a separate paper on it. I am faced with the following dilemma. I could reasonably do one of the following:

I) Write a longer paper and work to bring the ideas together.
Pros: My separation from paper X is much more obvious and seen as less incremental.
Cons: I mix two different ideas and risk the paper telling too many stories.

II) Vaguely hint at the second result in the first paper. If I do this, the problem is that if my hint is too vague, it will make my first result seem uninteresting. If it is too specific, I risk showing someone else my idea and having them “beat me to the punch.”
Pros: Sticks to one story, but provides additional motivation.
Cons: May make the first result seem too weak.

I apologize if this post is nonspecific, but I imagine others have faced this problem in their relative fields. How did you resolve this dilemma? I realize I have to figure out the answers myself, but how did you figure out the answers to these questions when you were facing this dilemma yourself?

Thank you.

I’m planning on undertaking a research masters in Earth Science or Geography within the UK.

During my undergraduate, there were many lectures, exams, courseworks/reports and workshops. I utilised my lecturers to ask questions about all of these things. Yet, my dissertation was very independent with minimal guidance or advice from lecturers (they mostly just nodded along).

My research masters will only have a single thesis/dissertation to hand in (no exams, lectures or reports). How should I use my university to help me in this? The obvious answer is lab equipment, but my thesis is most likely to be a desktop based study. Another answer is guidance from supervisors, but as I am required to come up with a thesis proposal before applying I will probably already have figured out much of what I need to do.


If you’re applying for a research masters in which there is only one piece of assessed work (your independent thesis), there is unlikely to be lab work (no need for uni equipment) and I must pre-decide a thesis proposal before applying (staff not available for guidance), how do I utilise the university to best help me?