On Giving a Talk

April 21, 2009

Some good advice on the subject is here, here and here (the last two are primarily intended for the mathematicians), here (this one is primarily on giving short talks) and here (this one also contains some helpful links to writing tips). As for the job talks, see e.g. this article by Richard Reis. On a related note, see also his article on getting the most of your conference trips.

Update 1:  Presentation Guide for Scientists by Ad Lagendijk

Update 2: How to Give a Good Talk (see also the video) by Uri Alon and

How to Conquer Public Speaking Fear by M. Orman

Update 3: How to Give a Great Presentation at the To Done blog

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Academic Networking: on the Network and beyond

March 31, 2009

Phil Agre‘s  Networking on the Network contains plenty of great advice on academic networking — building a net of colleagues and collaborators.  See also interesting related materials here, here, here and here. As for collaboration per se,  see the links in my post on writing. See also this post at SBS on the conference networking.

Update: An interesting article from the Chronicle of Higher Education. See also this post on Academia 101.

Is there an academic counterpart for social networks like the Facebook? Yes. I have found  Academia.edu, and there is plenty of sites of this kind (the Nature Network is just another example, and the Researchgate is yet another)

Update 2: see my comment exchange (1 2 3 4 5 6) with Bee (her responses are right under my comments except for #6) at the Backreaction blog regarding the academic networking.


Advice for the (Would-Be) Graduate Students

March 28, 2009

A great collection of advice and links on the subject is here. For the (prospective) graduate students in mathematics, Terence Tao provides excellent advice here, and there is a whole new blog on the subject. As for the physics students, go here and here. See also my earlier posts, especially here and here. Some interesting material can be also found here and here.

Update (via ZapperZ blog): More advice from the Science Careers: here, here, and here.

Update 2: excellent advice for the graduate students in math is available at the Secret Blogging Seminar, here and here.

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Ten simple rules: career advice from P.E. Bourne et al.

March 16, 2009

Ten Simple Rules for

The above articles are also available as a single collection (which however does not seem to include the correction mentioned above).

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What They Don’t Teach You in Graduate School

March 16, 2009

This is a series of four articles at Inside Higher Ed by David E. Drew and Paul Gray:

Part I Part II Part III Part IV

These authors have also recently published a book on the subject but I haven’t got it yet.

However, I’ve just found a presentation which appears to be a nice summary of the book (important note: the link in this paragraph works even though Snapshots says it doesn’t!).

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How to Do Great Science: You and Your Research by Richard Hamming

March 10, 2009

Richard Hamming in his famous talk You and Your Research offers superb advice on how to do great science.

Update (via Stephen Kinsella):  This talk was also recently published here, so now one has an official reference to cite.

Update 2 (via the Unruled Notebook): the videos of a more recent version of this talk given by Hamming himself in the 90s are available here.

Further advice can be found in the other posts on this blog, e.g. here and here. Also, there are two recent  followup papers (On the Process of Becoming a Great Scientist and Ten Simple Rules for Doing Your Best Research, According to Hamming) that could be of  some interest.


Career advice from the Fields medalists and some other mathematicians

March 10, 2009

The career advice from Sir Michael Atiyah (see also his lecture containing some bits of career advice (hat tip: N.E.W.)), Béla Bollobás, Alain Connes, Dusa McDuff, and Peter Sarnak is here:

Advice to a Young Mathematician

This is an excerpt from The Princeton Companion to Mathematics. By the way, the most recent errata for PCM are here.

See  also great advice from E.W. Dijkstra and J.H. Conway, excellent  career advice and writing tips from the blog of Terence Tao, and Six Rules for Rewriting at the Michael Nielsen’s blog.

Finally, here go the interviews containing some nice bits of career advice:  Alain Connes, Maxim Kontsevich, Sergey Novikov, Terence Tao (see also his Google buzz page and this blog post).

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