Articles of career development

Am I fit for higher studies/teaching in mathematics?

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 should focus on earning as soon as possible), and so instead I opted for an engineering degree. While in […]

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. But as you would expect I don’t want to discuss the proof with someone else from my university (perhaps they […]

Jobs in industry for pure mathematicians

While I love research and academia and would prefer to continue there, I’ve found myself in industry and haven’t felt it’s a good match for my interests. Moreover, I’m constantly frustrated by the lack of opportunity to do math research. I’d like to find something I’m genuinely excited about (not to mention using all the […]

String Theory: What to do?

This is going to be a relatively broad/open-ended question, so I apologize before hand if it is the wrong place to ask this. Anyways, I’m currently a 3rd year undergraduate starting to more seriously research possible grad schools. I find myself in somewhat of a weird spot as my primary interests lie in physics, but […]

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 field is CFD. Even though every mathematician would say I have not heard a lot of math, for myself […]

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 by the “pressure cooker” atmosphere among grad students here. That is, even moreso than in the undergraduate program. If I’m […]

Are all mathematicians human calculators?

I asked my dad why he did not major in math he said “because he is not good at math”. I think I like math, and I think I’m ok at it, but I’m not gifted or anything like that, I just like math. I think I’d like to major in math, but I see […]

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 where I expected to get into. My letters were great and I’m published, but my GRE was bad and my grades were […]

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 great deal of lectures on specific topics; (b) the chance to gain some hands-on experience with research projects. Most of these programs, however, (if not all […]

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 I am going to leave academia soon. I do enjoy teaching and research, but the alpha-maleness, massive egos and pressure […]