I am trying to write personal statement for applied mathematics program in US. I did an “independent study course” when I was a senior. The topics were about mathematical foundations of image processing and reading papers. This is definitely something that I would like to mention in my personal statement.

But I am not sure how detailed it should be? For example, should I just say “we read two papers”, or should I go deeper and say “the first papers use variational calculus to develop an active contour model for detecting edge”? Should I mention some of the specific books my professor assigned to me, or do I just say “I read about functional analysis”?

I have couple questions for you guys and I hope to find some answers here.


I finished my master’s degree with a thesis at school A. During my master’s program at school A, I was a research assistant for my thesis adviser (Let’s call him Professor A).
Now, I am applying to school B for PhD (because PhD isn’t offered at school A) and I am hoping to work with Professor B who has a same research interest as Professor A.

Professor A has requested that:

  1. I do not share any codes with Professor B.
  2. Choose a research topic that is different from my master’s thesis for the conflict of interest.


My questions are:

  1. Is this understandable and typical situation for many students? What do you do about this?
  2. Do I need to completely change the trajectory of my PhD research topic from Master’s and start a new topic in the same research area?

I am applying for postdoc in physics this year. Every place asks for a statement of research or research plan/proposal for the application procedure. I have been recently following papers on a very interesting topic of research. Although I have no concrete problem/question in mind. I cannot resist myself from mentioning this topic of interest. I was wondering if I can write something like the following in a statement of research :

“I am also very interested in X. I have been closely following the rapid progress in this direction and hope to contribute in recent future.”

(I want this part to write at the end of my statement of research but these sentences don’t sound nice to me at all!)

At the moment I am writing a paper which presents the result of our developments of a simulation-based framework. It is a novel framework that enables dynamic simulations of power-systems and storage technologies. The novel thing about it is the method behind the simulation (so actually it is a “method development”). Nevertheless we want to present 3 use-cases that demonstrate some of the key applications of the framework. The cases are not realistic – they should demonstrate in a clear way the “new features” that we can capture within our framework.


Is there a scientific term for such kind of test cases? I would like to mention that already in the abstract (that the focus was on development, not on results). Something like “[..] should be considered as a proof of concept rather than a detailed validation/..”

I am a Computer Science graduate (presently, working towards Ph.D.). I have been working in the field of Computational Biology/Chemistry, Bioinformatics which involves many different computational approaches. I am rather working towards the development of new computational methods.

However, we report our results in interdisciplinary journals or pure biology/chemistry journals.

Question: I have often heard that — in my country, many organizations are giving lesser weight to such interdisciplinary publications. But, while I started Ph.D., I used to think that it does not matter much. Even, the recruitment committee does ask questions like Why did you publish in J. Computational X or J. Theoretical X ? How one should respond to such questions being an applicant for a position in Computer Science department?

I did find it funny, though. Either the recruitment committee is not suitable or such candidates are not preferable.

I came a not-so-similar question on SE: When should I publish in interdisciplinary versus subject-specific scientific journals?