Soon, I’ll be meeting a professor_A base at a University in my home country to discuss about my plans and projects that may be of interest to me(us) during my time back home.

Ideally, I am looking to be involved in industry for 12 months to 18 months before returning to my alma mater for an honours program with a prominent professor_B who has extended this offer to me despite me not meeting the formal prerequisite for this program but which is predicated on a strong statement of purpose to clear the bureaucratic hurdle.

During this time, I am looking to be actively committed with professor_A outside of standard industry hours to which I will be upholding strictly.

I have two questions:

1) In this context, is the practice of collaboration(unpaid) in the field of academia outside of industry office hours ever frowned upon? The research field is applied math so much of the work revolves around “pen and paper”.
Given that professor_A is aware of my plans yet extends an in-person meeting may suggests he is at least open to negotiations.

2) How long should a collaboration be?
Would 12 to 18 months be a healthy period? I’m looking to develop mathematical insights/ modelling and computational technique while gaining research experiences.

In many countries an application for a PhD position includes a written research proposal, so my questions is what are some advises/strategies to come up with a good topic/idea for a PhD research proposal and how can one assess the quality/fruitfulness of an idea? As an undergraduate student one just doesn’t have the experience to foresee which ideas might have promising research results and which probably won’t have. (And I doubt that potential supervisors have the time to comment on every idea of every potential applicant in cases where it is possible to establish some kind of contact before the actual application.)

Some context here: I’m a physics student from Argentina about to get my MSc. I’m applying to a PhD in many universities of Europe and some of them (Oxford and Imperial College London, for example) ask for a Research Proposal.

I find it weird that I must commit to one specific topic before I even know anything about the area (I know some stuff, obviously, but I’d like to learn more before I choose one specific topic). This is different in the US Universities (where I’ve applied too) where you just apply for the PhD Position and then have one year to take courses and choose your group and research project.

Because of this, I thought that maybe it would be better if I write about two or three possible research topics within the area of the research proposal. Is this okay? To give further information: I want to apply to the Information Theory group of the Physics Department of Oxford and I’d like to write a proposal about Quantum Thermodynamics but also about information theory applications to fermionic systems and out-of-equilibibrium quantum dynamics. This three topics have nothing to do with one another but the group I’m applying to is working on them.

In an extended discussion in Law SE chat, there was a description of the legal approach to epistemology, namely one that is dependent upon the findings of the various actors of the criminal justice system: police, defendants and plaintiffs, judges, lawyers, and juries. The specific quote that I wanted to touch upon was:

It means that science and law fundamentally (and, one could argue, incompatibly) disagree on the nature of truth. In science, no group exists that can declare something “fact”. In law, that’s what juries and/or judges do. Asking scientific questions about something science considers impossible is akin to asking what color the most magical unicorns are. – cHao

But despite this, I know that there is a distinct gap in my knowledge of both realms to conclusively address the issue.

How would you test it? It is fundamental that juries decide what is fact from disputed evidence (juries have nothing to do when the parties agree what the facts are). How do you set up your double blind experiment when there is no way of telling objectively who the guilty and not guilty defendants are? – Dale M

Taking a research-approach to the question, I posited a rough sketch of how I would’ve approached the topic.

@DaleM complete taking a guess here, a control (12 jurors) and different experimental groups consisting of different sizes. A known “case” where it is known with a p value of <0.05 that the defendant is X (can be real or imagined). The prosecution (study confederate) would present evidence systematically and equally to all groups but without knowing actual case X. Based on experimental results, determine optimal jury size. – Me

So I ask:

  • Why is there a fundamental gap between law and science?
  • Can the two ever be ‘merged’ or ‘reconciled’?
  • How would both realms work if they adopted attributes from either realm?

In an extended discussion in Law SE chat, there was a description of the legal approach to epistemology, namely one that is dependent upon the findings of the various actors of the criminal justice system: police, defendants and plaintiffs, judges, lawyers, and juries. The specific quote that I wanted to touch upon was:

It means that science and law fundamentally (and, one could argue, incompatibly) disagree on the nature of truth. In science, no group exists that can declare something “fact”. In law, that’s what juries and/or judges do. Asking scientific questions about something science considers impossible is akin to asking what color the most magical unicorns are. – cHao

Taking a research-approach to the question, I posited a rough sketch of how I would’ve approached the topic.

But despite this, I know that there is a distinct gap in my knowledge of both realms to conclusively address the issue.

  • Why is there a fundamental gap between law and science?
  • Can the two ever be ‘merged’?
  • How would both realms work if they adopted attributes from either realm?

I’m a MSc student and the time has come for me to start thinking about my thesis work. I want to do wet lab work in the field of Developmental Biology, but still don’t have a clear idea of what precise topic I’d enjoy working on. What is the process that would get me to this specific idea?

I would have to find a foreign lab by myself, so I need to be able to narrow my search down to the supervisors who do that specific thing in that specific way. But I have little idea how to understand what I really want.

Has anybody been in this same situation? And how did you find your focus in the end?

I am struggling to write the research interests part of my SOP.

I am interested in cryptography, but my research experience is in signal processing. My reason for switching fields is that I really like number theory and, thus, I want to study cryptography. Unfortunately, I couldn’t study cryptography in my undergrad due to lack of supervisors with expertise in cryptography.

I’m concerned if writing those will be effective. As a result, I’m stuck in the SOP. How should I explain my research interests in the SOP?

I am struggling to write my sop in the research interest part. I am interested in cryptography, but my research experience is in signal processing. The reason of switching fields is that I really like number theory and so I want to study cryptography. And I couldn’t study cryptography in my undergrad for not having any supervisors in cryptography. I’m concerned if writing those will be effective. As a result I’m stuck in the SOP. How should I explain my research interest in SOP?

I am Bachelor Student and Each period of time I am preparing a research paper in different topic/field, is it better to have several research papers talking about different topics or I have to focus on a single topic to have better knowledge?

My goal to have a basic idea about several topics that later on I will complete my higher education.

Regards!