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Math Professor's B-day

  1. Oct 7, 2007 #1
    I recently found out that my math professor's birthday is coming up. As a student, do you think it would be appropriate to get this professor a small gift (like see's candy or something like that)? I've known her for a few years and she isn't even my professor this semester. So it isn't a matter of sucking up but just that she's just been a good advisor and a great faculty friend to me. What do you guys think? Is it appropriate to buy a professor a birthday gift? If so, what kind of gift?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2007 #2
    math books?
  4. Oct 7, 2007 #3
    I'm not at that level of education yet, just high school, but getting a professor a gift, especially if you've known them a few years, would definitely be a good thing to do. People usually become friends with their teachers, why not buy a "friend" a gift for there birthday?
  5. Oct 7, 2007 #4
    There was a similar thread, a student looking for gift suggestions for a prof., a year or two ago. I don't have the link handy now.
  6. Oct 17, 2007 #5
    I don't really see how you could generalise as my two favourite professors are both totally different... one likes his wine so a nice bottle of something would go down nicely, whereas the other's got a great sense of humour and likes anything involving random science puns... I don't really know how you could turn that into a gift but hey... I'd probably stick with the wine myself.
  7. Oct 17, 2007 #6


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    I think it would be perfectly acceptable to get your prof a small birthday gift. A bottle of wine is a good idea as are a box of chocolates or anything else of that nature you think she may prefer.
  8. Oct 17, 2007 #7
    How about just a card with a sentence "you are an integral part of our life," or print out Poincaré's conjecture and bind it.
  9. Oct 17, 2007 #8


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    A card would probably be plenty. Any more than that would depend on how well you know this person. I've received gifts from students who have worked in my lab, because there is more than just a mentor-student relationship there...we have actually become good friends from working so closely together...but if someone were "just" a student or I was "just" their academic advisor, a birthday gift might seem a bit too much for just doing my job. If you really feel strongly that this person has been an important influence for you, and deserving of a gift, I would suggest waiting until you are about to graduate, and giving a "thank-you" gift for their advice over the years.
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