Questions on mathematical career development. Consider whether your question is more appropriate for Academia Stack Exchange.

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108
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9answers
10k views

How do I sell out with abstract algebra?

My plan as an undergraduate was unequivocally to be a pure mathematician, working as an algebraist as a bigshot professor at a bigshot university. I'm graduating this month, and I didn't get into ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Choosing a PhD topic [closed]

My supervisor and I recently had a long chat about PhD related stuff. He said something to the extent that your chances of employment after finishing your PhD among other factors depends on the topic ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it better to learn math before physics? [closed]

It seems that a persons ability to understand physics at a high level is limited primarily by their understanding of math. It also seems to be more efficient to learn the underlying math for a ...
35
votes
7answers
4k views

Should I be worried that I am doing well in analysis and not well in algebra? [closed]

I attend a mostly liberal arts focused university, in which I was able to test out of an "Introduction to Proofs" class and directly into "Advanced Calculus 1" (Introductory Analysis I) and I loved ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

Changing research topics completely when entering graduate school?

In my undergraduate years I mainly focused on analysis, and have done two research projects in analysis. However, when the application results turned out, the best school that gave me an offer is ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

Pre-test preparation [closed]

I'm currently an undergrad in maths and I wanted to know how those who have completed their degrees handled their test preparation. That is, how did you study and how did you manage the anxiety if ...
8
votes
3answers
382 views

Math under time constraints [closed]

I'm currently an undergrad math student and I have been wondering if being able to perform well under time constraints requires a deeper knowledge of the material than performing under no time ...
7
votes
1answer
518 views

Problem regarding mathematical skill of a math lover

I don’t know whether it would be a good idea to seek solution for some personal problem here. But as there’s no harm in asking I’m putting it under the soft tag. It’s about forming a career in ...
16
votes
4answers
476 views

Mathematical Habit

Whenever I have to do proofs or understand a concept, I start with examples and generalize. As an aspiring mathematician, I have fears that it might hurt me, especially when we have so many ...
49
votes
8answers
7k views

How much Math do you REALLY do in your job?

I am writing this, as I am a currently an intern at an aircraft manufactur. I am studying a mixture of engineering and applied math. During the semester I focussed on numerical courses and my applied ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Finding his own path [closed]

I am a graduate student in major mathematics and now the time has come to choose a "specialization" (I have to choose 3 between 4 subjects). I like algebra a lot and I am also interested in ...
12
votes
1answer
979 views

What is the expected mathematical repertoire of a Ph.D. program applicant?

I am an undergraduate (currently a sophomore) studying to prepare for applying to a Ph.D. program in mathematics. I have thus far structured my course selection upon the advice of a friend I met ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

How to go about studying chaos theory/dynamical systems/fluid dynamics in grad school with a physics background?

I'm turning to you as I find myself in need of help as to how to best go about studying something related to chaos theory/dynamical systems/fluid dynamics in postgraduate school. I'm currently in my ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Head hunters/job search sites for Mathematicians? [closed]

What are good job search sites, head hunter/recruiting agencies for mathematicians looking for industry jobs? If this question is not appropriate for the math stack exchange, please feel free to ...
14
votes
3answers
915 views

Careers in Math

I am a highschool freshman, and I really like to have goals for my life, one of the big ones is my career of choice. Previously, I have always wanted to be a programmer, and I have written a lot of ...
9
votes
5answers
682 views

Am I fit for higher studies/teaching in mathematics? [closed]

Let me begin with some background: I used to enjoy mathematics immensely in school, and wanted to pursue higher studies. However, everyone around me at that time told me it was a stupid area (that I ...
3
votes
2answers
737 views

Roadmap for maths self-study for a physics undergrad wanting to pursue research in maths [closed]

I am a second year physics undergrad. After spending about an year exploring mathematical physics (QFT,solitons, etc), I have realized that maybe theoretical physics isnt my passion after all, and I ...
2
votes
1answer
320 views

Books on AI, programming, optimization

I'm studying math (just started) and I like programming as well (just started this too), is there a career or a branch of research including deep aspect of this two aspects? Is there someone among you ...
43
votes
13answers
4k views

Research done by high-school students

I'm giving a talk soon to a group of high-school students about open problems in mathematics that high-school students could understand. To inspire them, I would like to give them examples of ...
25
votes
5answers
4k views

Is a good GRE score enough for a non-math graduate to be accepted in a decent pure mathematics graduate program?

I have a computer engineering degree , and i have studied several mathematics courses like single variable and multiples variables calculus , complex variables , probability , numerical analysis ... ...
5
votes
1answer
289 views

Not in school. Need some help planning my studies post-calculus & intro. abstract algebra.

OK, so I left school (wasn't failing or anything), but I still love math and want to go on with my studies. I want to, first and foremost, cover all the important topics a math education should ...
41
votes
7answers
5k views

What does it take to get a job at a top 50 math program in the U.S.?

I'm a senior undergrad right at a small liberal arts college right now who is applying to math PhD programs in the U.S. I would like to eventually become a professor at a relatively good university ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Early specialization and career development [closed]

I'm in the last year of my undergraduate studies. I recently decided to become a mathematician and I will apply for a two year master degree as a preparation for a PhD. Looking to various master ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

Grad school & success in the long run

I am an undergraduate mathematics student at some university in Turkey. I am doing well in math classes. Actually, I did not study very hard in my freshmen year and I got not so high grades from ...
4
votes
1answer
529 views

How many letters of recommendations is too many [closed]

I am planning to apply for post-doc positions soon. Most universities require three letters of recommendation and most of peers suggested that I should have at least three research letters and one ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Do mathematicians Switch Fields of Expertise?

I'm curious if it is common or quite rare for mathematicians to change their area of expertise, whether it be after their PHD or mid-career, how radical this change might be, whether it's often for ...
6
votes
0answers
542 views

Transitioning from Statistics to Pure Math at the PhD level [closed]

I was not sure if I should even post this question at this site because it is not directly related to mathematics, but rather, careers in mathematics. First of all, I have a B.S. in pure math. ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Can an older person become an expert in math?

Is learning math like learning a language, in that there's a certain cutoff age (pretty young) that you need to start learning by, otherwise you'll never be fluent? Is the novice older brain ...
822
votes
29answers
53k views

Can I use my powers for good?

I hesitate to ask this question, but I read a lot of the career advice from MathOverflow and math.stackexchange, and I couldn't find anything similar. Four years after the PhD, I am pretty sure that ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible to be a mathematician without being mathematically talented? [closed]

Apparently I'm not mathematically talented enough to be hired as a postdoc. Is there any way to earn a living while continuing to do mathematics I love (commutative algebra)? I don't like teaching or ...
24
votes
1answer
2k views

How difficult is it to get an academic job?

Like many others here, I hope to someday become a professor. I've heard that it's very, very difficult and competitive in pure math, and I thought I would come here to ask your opinions. For those of ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What about Genetic Algorithms from a mathematical point of view?

Last year I've attended an Artificial Intelligence course (it was very simple, just a summary of the main ideas); we've seen what a genetic algorithm is and the idea seems very interesting to me. Now ...
32
votes
1answer
6k views

Grad school with low undergrad GPA

I'm hoping to apply to grad schools this fall. I think I'm a reasonably good candidate, one aspect aside -- I have around a 2.5 undergraduate GPA in-major and failed several math classes in college. ...
24
votes
4answers
1k views

Are there any common practices in mathematics to guard against mistakes?

It occurred to me that math is somewhat like programming (or vice-versa, if you prefer) because, in both, it is easy to make mistakes or overlook them, and the smallest error or misguided assumption ...
1
vote
1answer
527 views

Advice about a career interest in Mathematics [closed]

I am a graduate student and am into 2 years of PhD. My current specialization is in signal processing. During this period, in my spare time, i came up with an idea which seems to be a research ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Publishing elementary proofs of theorems

I'm an undergraduate student and I believe I found another proof of Heron's formula. I have a bunch of questions: I would like to publish this "proof" (I haven't found mistakes yet) in some magazine. ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Research Experience for Undergraduates: Summer Programs (that accept non-American applicants)

There are many summer research programs in the United States, targeted at good motivated undergraduate students majoring in mathematics. The main aspects that characterize such programs are: (a) a ...
52
votes
9answers
7k views

Does it ever make sense NOT to go to the most prestigious graduate school you can get into?

I'm a senior undergrad at a top-ish(say, top 15) math school. I'm a solid, not stellar, student. This year I'm taking the qualifying exam grad courses in algebra and analysis and have been taken aback ...