I recently got to know one of my undergraduate supervisors/mentors has been accepted as a visiting fellow at MIT. If all goes to plan, he’ll be at MIT starting next fall.

I’m a senior year student of physics and I have already planned to take at least a year off before applying to graduate schools in theoretical/mathematical physics. If the professor isn’t around, I’m pretty much left stranded. In an small department, he’s the only one who does research in theoretical/fundamental/high energy physics.

After congratulating him on getting this position, how should I go about inquiring about my status from him? Also, we used to have another professor, say X, in the department (kicked out, unfortunately) with interests in mathematical physics. The professor in question, Y, is in good terms with professor X. How can I potentially ask professor Y to recommend me as a student to professor X, assuming professor Y won’t be available starting next fall?

I have a dilemma about my career path. I recently graduate with an IT (Software Engineer) background and within 2 weeks I’ve started working as a programmer with the title of Senior Executive. Ever since during my studies I’ve always knew that I was not born as a smart programmer, I’m more into managerial things, to be more specific after I develop my growth, I’ve realised I want to be in line in IT-Project Management or any related Project Management or even climbing the corporate ladders. Since I know how to code but I need to do it the hard way.

With the current job as a contract for 2 years, I’ve decided to pursue my master when my contract ends in Business Administration. My question is simple, is it really worth it as I’ve seek different viewpoint and would like to ask this question here for my personal reference and analysis.

Thank you very much in advance!

I am writing a paper for a cs conference, in which I apply a new method that I have invented to a biological dataset, as a part of a project we are carrying on for my phd. Say that are 7 pages on the method and 3 on the data results.

The results on this dataset are great, and the method works fine. Also, state of the art methods did not work well in the same way on those data, mainly for practical reasons (they are much more complicated to apply, and require the job of a data scientist on them, so they can not be use easily by biologist).

That said, state of the art methods, work slightly better on synthetic datasets, so I am a bit confused wether to add or not a comparison of my method with state of the art methods: If I don’t add the comparisons, reviewers will criticize us for not comparing with the other methods; if I add it, reviewers will criticize us for not using other methods that actually in synthetic datasets work better.
Comparing my method vs their method on the actual biological data is not possible, as data is not publishable so the experiment would not be reproducible.

How to deal with this case?

I am a marker, and my instructor just let all students have exam issues talk to the marker first. In most cases the grade is not changed, I even suspect some of they changed their answers secretly to cheat. And yes, I feel bothered by this self-righteous students. I think it may be better for the instructor to have a look at the exam papers first to determine if they deserve a regrading. It is also a way to supervise the markers’ work. What is your opinion?

I’m an undergrad and kind of new to this whole research thing. I’ve been doing research for the past ~9 months as a requirement to graduate with my bachelor’s (there’s the research track and software development track, I chose research).

I was told to try and submit my paper to conferences/journals (depends on their deadlines) to see if it gets accepted. But, one thing my professor said really stressed me out. If my paper gets accepted, and people find a serious mistake in it (ones that could cause your conclusion to be wrong, etc), it would destroy my whole career before it even began.

Can anyone with more experience go into detail about what could really happen? Assume, that the paper really gets accepted. On one hand, I’m not entirely confident of myself, and on the other, I have found a passion in research and would love to continue on for a Phd in future and this might help boost my resume a little given it is my only research experience.

EDIT: more answers are welcomed! I’d loved to hear different opinions on this topic.

I am a university marker TA, and I met with a self-righteous student after midterm exam. He thought his answers were correct but didn’t explain to me why his answers were correct. He just didn’t accept my explanation. He also blamed me marking his assignment wrong, but later I found out it has nothing to do with me. It is the first time I being a TA. Should I just tell him to talk to the instructor, and my job is just marking?

Actually, I didn’t explain too much because I don’t know how to him understand he is wrong even he have read the sample answer. And he didn’t tell me why he is right.

If you’ve shown the first (it may be difficult to prove it is the first, like with most PhD works it seems, but that may be a different question) proof for a new, e.g., mathematical fact using an anonymous account on the Internet and you prove that you know the password of that account, can you successfully persuade that you were the first to prove that fact and use it for your PhD? Thanks.

A colleague in my lab, let’s call him Jim, has recently presented a poster at two different conferences containing largely my figures and analyses. I had generated 4/5 of the figures, which had taken months of analyses and work. I was fully credited on the work and listed as second author, I was not asked if the figures could be used however. Moreover, it is difficult to see Jim’s substantial original contribution in the experimental design or analysis of the presented work. Jim also went on to win a non-trivial monetary prize for the poster, which I also had no knowledge of until recently. Most of our lab’s work is formed from a collaborative effort, which I fully accept. I do however think that when presenting a poster of a project, you should have a substantial hand in the experimental design or analysis (excepting of course if you are presenting on behalf of someone who couldn’t make the conference).

We are working on the same project, Jim has generated the data and I have analysed it and the PI has lead the direction. Jim is an experimentalist and I work in informatics. Jim is working on more experiments using some of the insights that came from the analysis, which is all well and good. These experiments only have preliminary results, which is why I think he went with my figures, as I had generated a fair few in my analyses and sent them on to Jim and the PI. In terms of driving and shaping the analyses, they have largely been led by the PI and myself. Jim has assisted, however contribution to forming conclusions about the analyses, or guiding which figures to generate, his contribution was minimal. For the record we are equal way through our PhDs.

Once Jim’s experiments start to gel I’m sure our contributions will start to diverge, however it bothers me I wasn’t consulted about use of the figures. We are both final year students, and I don’t see lack of results as an excuse at this point. Use of 1-2 figures I would have been indifferent about, but 4/5? The poster prize definitely didn’t help the situation. I am worried about my figures being used in Jim’s thesis without consent or comprising the majority of future posters, for which he’ll get majority credit.

Any advice on best way to handle this? Talk with Jim directly? Go the PI? Go my advisory head (who is external to the lab)? Or is this just the nature of highly collaborative labs?