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A Mathematician's Survival Guide: Graduate School and Early Career Development
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Top Customer Reviews
students in mathematics at top universities, I still read it,
to get an idea what such math graduate studies are all about.
And it was quite rewarding, because the author shares all the
information about the educational process, from college to
full professorship, as lucidly as possible. The math scene
described in this book reminds a little of a cult. People
outside the brightest of the brightest, like me, and like
most of humanity, might feel somewhat embarassed. But it was
not written for us. The details of the book are too many
to be represented by examples here, but they cover the whole
range from fincancial aspects, to recommendation letters, to
to whether one should join a mathematical society etc.
A smaller part of the book is even dedicated to mathematics.
It tells first introductorywise then with listings what one
needs to know for the qualifying exams. Overall the book is
really informative and easy too read, almost like a science
fiction. For the intended audience the book seems to be perfect
and for outsiders it's valuable for the insight, as well.
The book includes helpful information to questions you probably wouldn't dare to ask anyone:
"How do i choose a thesis advisor?",
"What if I can't solve my thesis problem?",
"Am I in competition with the other graduate students?",
"What kind of money can I make as a professor?"
There's also lots of information about life after graduation, especially relevant for those of us who want to pursue an academic career.
The book is written in an easy to follow style, and gets straight to the point. You really feel that the author knows what he's talking about.
I highly recommend it to anyone planning a career in a science related to maths.
Also gives extensive information regarding the application of a PhD in academia- such as types of jobs (tenure track, post-doc fellow, etc.), types of colleges and the workload (and pay) to be expected at those colleges.
End of text is an overview of mathematics topics important to the post-bachelors, pre-grad student.
It does not spend time explaining all the different areas of mathematics, so that part you'll need to figure out for yourself. Reading this book will get you excited to talk to your professors about a doctorate program. Good luck!
4/14: Well, the author tells it like how it is in A Mathematician's Survival Guide. I must say, there is a good deal of hubris in the book that is a big turnoff to me although it is not intended. It's just that the whole deal about elitism is what bothers me the most. Although math professors have earned their stripes because of their intelligence and hard work to get to the point of where they are, I am really disappointed in them because college students nowadays shell out tens of thousand dollars only to get uncaring, dispassionate "teachers." They are simply walking oral books that are played ad verbatim in classrooms. That's why the passages in the book about how teaching is highly valued in the academia are a real laugh for me; never I in my life met any of Ph.D. mathematicians that resemble the model of it. Morris Kline's Why the professor can't teach: Mathematics and the dilemma of university education paints a perfect picture of it. Above them all, who cares about their research? Nearly none of them presently holds any value, and only a half dozen in the world can only understand the specialization of varying mathematical areas. It's the very definition of the ivory tower. Being widely published and being held at high esteem by fellow peers are all wonderful and marvelous, but let's be real: who cares? The most important thing out of A Mathematician's Survival Guide for me is that I really learned a lot about how the Ph.D. process works, and it has given me a very clear idea whether or not I want to pursue it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A resource which I will treasure and use on a consistent basis. Thank you for the exceptional service.Published 7 months ago by Joseph Estrada
Dr. Krantz's lucid "Survival" guide is rich in advice for the aspiring mathematician who sees a plum job in academia as the ultimate career goal. Read morePublished on June 11, 2007 by Jesus Oliver
This is a great book with lots of important information on what it's like to be in academia. I recommend it highly for all graduate students as well as for their advisors.Published on November 5, 2006 by Ivan Avramidi
This book discussed all the relevant details involved in a career as an academic mathematician, and it was a very interesting read with Krantz's humor.Published on September 11, 2006 by cjjj
It tells you most of the basic things of becoming a mathematician, more specifically, an professor of mathematics. I was quite passionate for a career in the academics. Read morePublished on November 11, 2003