Do professors enjoy the time they spend on administrative tasks?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But few will admit enjoying it, for fear of being perceived as unserious about research. It's odd, since the three standard categories of academic life (teaching, research, and service/administration) are so varied and have so much in common.It's normal to divide academic work into three categories. They differ in

Does doing a PhD make you smarter?

We should start off by defining what "smarter" really means. I'll define "smart" as your general ability to make good decisions in any scenario, both old and new. My belief is that experience helps greatly in this. Diane Wu has a great approach to the answer, which is how you

What are some common misconceptions about university professors?

Some of the answers given below are good, and the picture is very amusing and not far from the truth.I'm lucky to be a professor. I have an enjoyable job, I get to research things which interest me, and I

What are the biggest misconceptions about college and university faculty?

I think a great number of these professors live, perform, and teach in a sterile environment. Simply put in their world 1+1 always equals 2. Out in the real world, day to day, world of employment, all the layers of management, the bureaucracy, uncooperative employees, time demands

What are the most fascinating things researchers and scientists are working on?

Vikas Solanki has covered three of the biggest research programs and/or directions that society is currently pursuing. Here are some others that I find interesting:Adiabatic Quantum Computing and Quantum InformationQuantum computers can provide significant algorithmic speedups; for instance, Grover's algorithm [1] gives a way to sort a size [math]n[/math] list in [math]\mathcal{O}(\sqrt{n})[/math]

Does college stress burn calories?

For 90-95% of the people, stress will cause you to gain weight. There is a small percentage of people who will actually lose weight under stress, but this is more a result of the fact that they eat less when stressed.

How common is bullying in academia?

Fairly common, though the form and extent depends on the field. This answer is about a "micro" example: not a person being pursued but a particular kind of single incident.In economics (and I believe in other fields as well), the following dynamic sometimes happens in a

How important is exercise for PhD students?

PhD in most science streams (I don't know about other streams) is hard work. Long experiments done on your feet, late night +Early mornings etc. You can not do this and remain lucid enough to make sense unless you have a healthy body. So exercise and healthy food is a must. Otherwise you will

Are people in academia arrogant? What is the role of arrogance in academia?

Well, most academics don't go around thinking, "I'm better than other people because I know X." We do wish that other people knew X.   We sometimes even forget that they don't know it, and that once we didn't know

At what age do I stop learning?

Around the age of twenty. Not saying that you stop learning but the process gets slower. Until the age of 10, you are constantly learning new things. Probably you have seen many kids asking the question <i> Why? </i> and I am pretty sure those with kids here find it really annoying when their kids asking why

Can getting a PhD ever be easy?

Sorry that I have to stay anonymous, but I know that my professors and supervisor read Quora.Well, I do think it's worth pointing out that not all fields have the same PhD experience. I see the folks doing their PhD in physics or math, and seem to be constantly dealing with experiments not working,

Do people regret not getting a PhD after undergrad?

Years ago when I was in my honours year, I frequently entertained the thought of doing one. My final grades stopped me dead in my tracks. One professor ever replied to my query on my suitability for a PhD program with good old sarcasm.Fast forward today, I worked in jobs I

Do we really need 'philosophy' and 'philosopher'?

NO we neither need philosophy nor a philosopher we actually need a MASTER (guru) who is the only capable one to make us to KNOW our philosophy. I wrote the word know in blocks in an order to emphasise on the real meaning of word ‘know.' To know means REALISING the information provided.A master

Does it make sense to choose a university solely to take classes with one professor who is renowned in your field?

Revised Answer:It depends on the situation. When I first answered this question, I was thinking of situations in which someone chooses a particular person as a mentor, and applies to the institution. I have known people who have done this - I was focussing on personal experience.However, after reading Justin Ausanka's comment, I have to

How do people in academia stay sharp?

That sounds like just about everyone. Welcome to the new world!There're a couple of reasons.1. Content presentation is no longer the same.In undergrad, the content is almost delivered on a silver plate. Slides, notes, chapters, easy journal articles if you were even assigned them. There're themes around  your topic, usually

Is it frustrating to be a researcher?

Yes, very much so. Your biggest limitation will be finding funding to do your research. Although liberals arts researchers tend to pay for their own research, which might be trips to libraries and archives, science research costs a lot of money. It costs money for equipment, analyses, and to pay graduate students to work on your research - and

What are common misconceptions about physicists?

A few misconceptions :That we are all string theorists, particle physicists, or astronomers (fact: we also do condensed matter, AMO, non-linear dynamics and fluid mechanics, plasma physics, statistical physics, biophysics, quantum computing, etc)That our work is solitary (fact: single-author papers are relatively rare, and physicists work in collaborative groups ranging from 2 people to 1000

What are some common misconceptions about university professors?

Some of the answers given below are good, and the picture is very amusing and not far from the truth.I'm lucky to be a professor. I have an enjoyable job, I get to research things which interest me, and I

What are the biggest misconceptions about college and university faculty?

I think a great number of these professors live, perform, and teach in a sterile environment. Simply put in their world 1+1 always equals 2. Out in the real world, day to day, world of employment, all the layers of management, the bureaucracy, uncooperative

What is it like to be a professor?

TL;DR: It's varied and requires a lot of different skills that I didn't learn in school.I get to work on what I want to work on. I get to choose my own hours. But there are a lot of responsibilities beyond simply doing research and teaching. What these are depends on

What is the measure of a successful college professor? Do they provide the 'easy' A's or challenge the students despite grades?

Successful is subjective, but let's look at who would be evaluating the metrics for success. The faculty/administration of the University would deem a faculty member successful by meeting or exceeding the requirements for tenure: instruction, scholarly productions, and service to the

What is the worst part of working in academia?

- Publish or perish (PoP): The tacit assumption that who does not publish at whatever the current acceptable speed is, is of no value to the university.- One-dimensional performance criteria: In athletics, the only thing that counts is

What makes graduate school worth it for you?

There is a presentation by Philip Guo which really hits home for me. You can find it at Why Pursue A Ph.D.? Three Practical Reasons (12-minute video) (thanks to Abhinav Upadhyay!) The crux of it is:At age 22 (right out of

Who are the biggest assholes in academia?

The biggest assholes in academia are college and university administrators. If a member of the faculty disagrees with administration policies, administrators find a way to get rid of that faculty member.They become very

Why do Caltech undergraduate students take classes with graduate students? Is that normal for other universities? It seems to put an unfair advantage on the graduate students.

It is true that most, if not all, Caltech undergrads take some classes that are a mix of undergrads and PhD students.  The reason for this is because we don't have enough undergraduates to justify undergrad-only courses at the advanced level -- we have about 950 undergrads across the entire Institute.  It is also the case that

Why do scientists research commonly known stuff?

At one point, all of the following were commonly known:The Earth is flat,The Earth is the motionless center of the universe,Men are smarter than women,People of the race that I belong to are smarter than people of other races,Species don't change over time,You don't need clean hands to do surgeryand so

Women in academia, have you faced any challenge which your male counterparts have not faced?

As a student I had a biochemistry professor who spent the first month of the class answering all my questions with, "You shouldn't be here. When are you going to drop my class?" After the first test he gave up trying to force me out, and

Women in academia, how much sexism do you face?

I'm a phd student in computational materials science, and as such most of the work evolves coding and simulations. The gender ratio in my field is horrible; For a while I'm the only female in my lab among 15 guys.Flash back

How do postdoctoral researchers maintain long-term relationships?

Good question. The most truthful answer might be: Not.Most post-docs have long distance relationships, hardly any date outside of academia or even their own field, out of selection (distance can be tough); many do let those fester, but, distance is great at making things fine when you are together, and