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What i should do

  1. Nov 10, 2004 #1
    I have spent about four year of my research (ph.d)working in the field of cosmolgy. I like it very much and I want to do something interesting.
    My problem is that I do not have a good communication with my supervisor and some time we do not communicate for a long time at all. I am afraid of asking questions, I have the impression that if I ask something he will get angry. Most of the time I dot understand what he says. I have clear idea that what we are doing is not significant at all (actually we are not doing anything coherent, some time we pick a problem and then after some time we leave that then again we pick another problme and leave that.. so far we have published a paper but that is in arXiv only). Right now where I am working is a very good place here we have very godd infrastructure but there are almost no other people in astro and cosmology to whom I can talk. I am thinking of two options.
    (1). I have to keep patience and study myself (because I am hardly been supervised so I have plenty of time) and go ahead.
    (2) I have to try for some other place, this will essentially push me for GRE and I have to spend more number of years to get a phd. If I chose the first option then there is a chance that I will get a phd,but after that I will not have too many options due to my poor research.
    If I chose the second option then there is chance that I can have a bright future but before that I have to spend a lot of time, money and efforts to get a place.
    Plese suggest me what I should do
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2004 #2
    you never get ahead without asking questions right?
  4. Nov 19, 2004 #3
    Is this purely a personality problem, or might it be a language problem?
  5. Nov 19, 2004 #4
    Option (1), exactly as you have stated it. Professors themselves aren't much supervised, and you're quite near to being a professor yourself, so get used to it. When you're done, you might find a job in a team, but the experience of being nearly 100% independent for at least a while is good. Your professor isn't much smarter than you are anyway. Return to one of the problems you've seen, find all that can about it, and do all that you can possibly do to try to solve it, with the litterature you have at hand and can find. When you do a Ph.D., you are master of your own studies. Your professor's job is only to make sure you don't start baking muffins and call it physics.
  6. Nov 19, 2004 #5


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    I want to caution you that there is a potential problem with doing this. Your academic advisor CALLS THE SHOT! You cannot do anything you wish for your dessertation, even if you think your advisor knows less than you on the topic. He or she can, by the stroke of a pen, deny you of your degree if what you are doing is not to his/her liking or approval. You cannot argue that "oh, I know more about this than you so give me my degree", because then, he/she cannot, in good conscience, approve of your work since he/she isn't capable of judging! So you even have less of a leg to stand on even if you pursue an academic appeal, simply because you did not consult your advisor for doing something he/she does not approve of or out of the expertise area.

  7. Nov 19, 2004 #6
    The professor surely has to understand what it is that your are doing. Explaining it clearly to him (as in a presentation) is part of the exercise, and he has to approve, of course. But you must not necessarily expect him/her to tell you which problem you should be working on and how to go abouts to solve it. Ideally, it is the student's job to propose what problem(s) and how to solve it/them, and the professor's to judge what is muffin-baking and what is acceptable.
  8. Nov 20, 2004 #7

    I am really obliged to all of you for the advice. I am taking it very seriousely

    with best wishes
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2004
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