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phd studije - kako biti uspesan?

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betty

svako toliko imam chit-chat sadrzaje koje bih da podelim s pucanstvom, ali mi se cini da mi je tematika toliko daleko od chit-chat vocapa da odustanem. nadam se da modovi nemaju nista protiv da se izivljavam ovde, u biranom drustvu.tema dana: kako biti uspesan phd student?svako toliko naletim na link za neki od mnogobrojnih blogova o tome kako uspeti u nauci. prisustvovala sam i nekolicini predavanja na tu temu. kad sam pocinjala master je bilo jedno od njih. danas, na nekoj internoj konferencijici za phd studente, keynote lecturer je bio jako uspesan mladi naucnik koji je bio zamoljen da prica na istu temu. jesam li usamljena u misljenju da je "sta je tajna vaseg uspeha?" jedan debilan pristup? kao kad stogodisnjaka pitaju cemu duguje tolike godine zivota! zasto bi uspesan naucnik uopste imao dobar uvid u to zasto neko drugi nije danas na njegovom mestu? nikakve sistemske analize, nikakvi podaci, nista, samo licni utisci. i svi svrsavaju od ushicenja!da stvar bude bolja, lik je kao potku za izlaganje koristio knjigu na istu temu napisanu pre 100 godina, i poredio je sa danasnjim vremenom. nikakva promena u pristupu (zvanom subjektivni osecaj), samo malo neslaganje sa nekim konkretnim sadrzajima tu i tamo.na kraju,tu je bio i dobronamerni snishodljivi savet da se ima i neki drugi sadrzaj u zivotu, da se gledaju filmovi, ide na koncerte, bavi fotografijom... to od lika koji je za vreme phd-a objavio 9 clanaka gde je bio prvi autor (poredjenje: drugi doktoranti na istom mestu i u istom roku obicno objave nula ili jedan), sto se kao sto znamo ne dogadja samo pukom brilijantnoscu nego krvnickim radom. sta kao, ako gledam filmove bicu bolji naucnik? uspesniji phd student? bolji covek? more mars.jeste i vi primetili najezdu saveta za uspesne naucnike, a sve u self-help maniru? u cemu je stos? zasto naucnici padaju na takve sadrzaje?

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Turnbull

Hahaha, da! Najbolje saveta sam inače čuo od ovog lika, koji je otprilike rekao, manje paničite, izađite iz vicious cycle-a, i ne brinite više o procrastination-u. Na kraju će vam se desiti nešto - dobićete ponudu za posao, zatrudnećete, moraćete da završite, skupićete sve pto ste do sada napisali, spojićete na gomilu, radićete još 2-3 meseca i završićete. :) Od tad mnogo bolje spavam :)http://vimeo.com/10018785

Edited by Syme

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Dagmar

<p>

svako toliko imam chit-chat sadrzaje koje bih da podelim s pucanstvom, ali mi se cini da mi je tematika toliko daleko od chit-chat vocapa da odustanem. nadam se da modovi nemaju nista protiv da se izivljavam ovde, u biranom drustvu.tema dana: kako biti uspesan phd student?jeste i vi primetili najezdu saveta za uspesne naucnike, a sve u self-help maniru? u cemu je stos? zasto naucnici padaju na takve sadrzaje?
Ja nisam to primetila. Šteta, zvuči kao zabavno štivo. U principu, mora da se ima pameti i sreće da se uleti u neki dobro opremljeni lab (u principu must za eksperimentalne life sciences), sa iole smislenim projektima i odatle priče može da ide na razne strane. Za dobar rad bitna je ambicija, rad, opet sreća, kreativnost, dobro izabran problem, dobar mentor, kreativnost, još malo sreće i vrednog rada...E sad pitanje je i kako se definiše uspešan PhD student. Ako su publikacije kriterijum, videla sam svakakve scenarije, od jaaako pametnih ljudi koji su jako puno radili za svoje science/nature, do jako pametnih ljudi koji su jako puno radili, dobili neke fine rezultate, onda malo zabašurili sa negativnim kontrolama da rezultati ispadnu još finiji i tako dalje. Edited by Evi_

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Aineko
na kraju,tu je bio i dobronamerni snishodljivi savet da se ima i neki drugi sadrzaj u zivotu, da se gledaju filmovi, ide na koncerte, bavi fotografijom... to od lika koji je za vreme phd-a objavio 9 clanaka gde je bio prvi autor (poredjenje: drugi doktoranti na istom mestu i u istom roku obicno objave nula ili jedan), sto se kao sto znamo ne dogadja samo pukom brilijantnoscu nego krvnickim radom.
ja bih dodala i srecom (bez namere da umanjujem neciji krvnicki rad, posto bez toga nema nista, ali ovakvo okruzenje kako gore opisano mi deluje malo i kao sreca). Ja se secam jednog primera koji pokazuje koliko sreca moze da bude umesana u to "briljantni mladi naucnik". na nekoj konferenciji pricala neka devojka, PhD student, koja je dobila neku nagradu za to 'mladi naucnik' i njena prica je otprilike ovo: ona je htela da ispituje neki sasvim levi efekat nekog gena, napravi nokaut strain misha, krene da secira embrione, kad ono - mishu se ne razvijaju pluca. ona naravno krene to da istrazuje i ispostavi se da je taj gen ni manje ni vise nego 'karika koja nedostaje' u toj kaskadi regulacije razvoja pluca kod embriona. ona je naravno odradila odlican posao prateci taj rad do kraja, ali sumnjam da bi bilo ko, da je iz bilo kakvih drugih razloga uradio isti nokaut, uspeo da propusti da primeti da mu mish ne razvija pluca. :)i kad smo vec na vocapu, jedna stvar koja je nama (nama, iz mog laba i polja) isla na zivce kad odemo na vece, generalne konferencije - ako ne radis na canceru ili bar samo na animal modelima dobijes cudne poglede u fazonu "sto se to uopste radi" :huh: . pricala mi drugarica da je neko bukvalno prisao njenom posteru (nije video da ona stoji pored), pogledao o cemu je (endophytic fungus) i glasno odreagovao sa "pffff!". a ona je izuzetno uspesan naucnik, jos tokom PhD je napravila sebi ime u polju. ima i moj profesor slicne price.

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Indy
tema dana: kako biti uspesan phd student?
Dobra tema. A kasnije mozda moze i druga tema - zasto biti uspesan phd student?Gde svi ti uspesni phd studenti na kraju zavrse? (Ne mislim na groblje, nego ono izmedju).

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Indy
jeste i vi primetili najezdu saveta za uspesne naucnike, a sve u self-help maniru? u cemu je stos? zasto naucnici padaju na takve sadrzaje?
Nije direktno odgovor na pitanje, ali je u vezi. Ima negde kod von Hayeka (ili von Misesa, ne secam se vise, ali neki austrijski von jeste), gde objasnjava zasto su intelektualci najcesce socijalisti i protivnici kapitalizma (bice da je ipak Mises, on je bio sklon tim pricama). Elem, taj kontekst uopste nije bitan, vec ono sto sam hteo da kazem je da je on (vMises) primetio da neko ko je npr. docent na univerzitetu izgleda sam sebi kao da je nekakav boss. Ima svoju kancelariju, ima svoj radni sto (u danasnje vreme i svoj kompjuter na njemu). Na vratima je njegovo ime, kao da je nekakav senior menadzer, sampion industrije. I tako, prica ovaj Austrijanac, a ja prepricavam, ovaj intelektualac uobrazi da je on nekakav uspesan covek i da treba shodno tome da ima i nagrade. I onda usporedi svoje nagrade sa recenim stvarnim senior menadzerom, naljuti se na cinjenicu da zaradjuje 2-3x manje, i postane - socijalista, protivnik tog sistema koji njega manje ceni od menadzera....Moguce je da ovo nema nikakve veze, a mozda i ima.Kad sam se tamo svadj reagovao na temi o prezentacijama sa Comic Sansom, mislio sam i na to. Mislim da mi ne treba da sebe mapiramo negde u taj svet biznis ljudi, korporativni svet, kicmu kapitalizma. To sto drugi tako misle i tamo nas vide, to je njihov problem (kao moja rodjaka, kad sam dosao u BG prvi put posto sam postao docent dole ispod, ona mene pita "i, kako zivi uspesan covek"? Ja ostao bez teksta, mislim se, i ja bih to voleo da znam.)

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Kampokei

Verujem da vecina onih koji krecu u tu PhD avanturu bivaju i te kako svesni da tu nekih velikih para nema, ili vrlo retko. Pa mi stoga nije mnogo verovatno da se tu dogadja neko post festum kajanje. Mozda, kod nekih. Sta znam, akademija nudi taj nemonetarni kvalitet zivota, daje mogucnost stila zivota koji je negde izmedju zivota umetnika i japija.Ja sam otisao na doktorat nakon nekoliko godina neckanja. Ali, presudilo je to sto volim istrazivanja i empiriju, ne volim proizvoljnost, a bogami i to sto si kao drustvenjak bez doktorata... onako prilicno niko i nista. Ne ocekujem neko silno postovanje, ni od komsija, ni od nepoznatih, niti bilo koga. Samo mi to sto zavrsih pruza mogucnost da ono sto volim radim na visem nivou, to je sve.

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Turnbull
Nije direktno odgovor na pitanje, ali je u vezi. Ima negde kod von Hayeka (ili von Misesa, ne secam se vise, ali neki austrijski von jeste), gde objasnjava zasto su intelektualci najcesce socijalisti i protivnici kapitalizma (bice da je ipak Mises, on je bio sklon tim pricama). Elem, taj kontekst uopste nije bitan, vec ono sto sam hteo da kazem je da je on (vMises) primetio da neko ko je npr. docent na univerzitetu izgleda sam sebi kao da je nekakav boss. Ima svoju kancelariju, ima svoj radni sto (u danasnje vreme i svoj kompjuter na njemu). Na vratima je njegovo ime, kao da je nekakav senior menadzer, sampion industrije. I tako, prica ovaj Austrijanac, a ja prepricavam, ovaj intelektualac uobrazi da je on nekakav uspesan covek i da treba shodno tome da ima i nagrade. I onda usporedi svoje nagrade sa recenim stvarnim senior menadzerom, naljuti se na cinjenicu da zaradjuje 2-3x manje, i postane - socijalista, protivnik tog sistema koji njega manje ceni od menadzera....
Von Nozick :)

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kgmr
zasto naucnici padaju na takve sadrzaje?
zato sto su isti kao i svi ostali ljudi :unsure:, uvek postoji 'how to'

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Dagmar
Dobra tema. A kasnije mozda moze i druga tema - zasto biti uspesan phd student?Gde svi ti uspesni phd studenti na kraju zavrse? (Ne mislim na groblje, nego ono izmedju).
Ima stvarno različitih priča. Znam za ljude koji su odradili postdok ili dva i nisu uspeli ništa posle da nađu, znam ih i koji su se posle PhDja zaposlili u dobrim svetskim firmama i sasvim sasvim lepo zarađuju. Moje kolege koje su doktorirale u proseku mnogo bolje materijalno stoje i češće su zaposleni od mojih kolega koji su ostali u Srbiji i bez doktorata. E sad ima i onih koji sa doktoratom vani nisu imali sreće da se zaposle, znam ih takođe i koji su u Srbiji bez doktorata našli dobili sasvim solidne poslove.Kod mene situacija može da se sumira ovako - kad sam se već zajebala da završim Hemiju, doktorat je neka šansa, ne i garancija, da tu malo ispravim stvari (u smislu nalaženja posla). A u međuvremenu, dok doktorat traje, zadovoljna sam platom, kolegama, i što mi je jako bitno - posao je zanimljiv i relativno fino ide. Valjda se i to međuvreme u nešto računa.

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betty
zato sto su isti kao i svi ostali ljudi
to je jedna skola misljenja. -_-ali jebemliga, ako se nesto ponavlja kroz celo naucno skolovanje, to je da intuicija nije dovoljno dobar nacin da se dodje do najboljeg moguceg podatka. sto nas dovodi do alternativne teorije, da u nauci nece uspeti oni phd studenti koji se uzimaju ove savete mudraca previse ozbiljno. :P
Moguce je da ovo nema nikakve veze, a mozda i ima.
naravno da ima; potreba za ovakvim savetima je generisana cinjenicom da vecina nas nece uspeti u naucnom zivotu. svi bi da nadju neke tips and tricks, da znaju da svo ovo vreme i energija nisu uzalud potroseni (sto je takodje bzv uverenje po mom misljenju, ali je odvojena tema). zato me i cudi sto je jedino sto se moze naci na tu temu niz potpuno neproverenih uverenja, i to ne nekih koja su bitno bolja od liste koju bi mogao da sastavi i neko ko jos uvek radi phd i nema uvid u to hoce li uspeti ili biti zaboravljen.
Šteta, zvuči kao zabavno štivo.
mozda ce ti se onda dopasti ova knjiga: mastering your phd. nisam je pogledala ali sam cula da ima korisnih saveta, tipa kako krenuti u sastavljanje elektronske biblioteke na pocetku umesto na sredini doktorata.

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Indy
zato sto su isti kao i svi ostali ljudi
+1Vidi se ko je sajkolog.To je samo ljucki. Mnogi PhD studenti su puka sirotinja, i cesto zavape "majko, 'ocul' i ja ovako?!" kad vide nekog biznismen-vumena kako preko reda dobija boarding pass jer je bizmis klasa i ima sve na note, i najnoviji mobilni, ipad itd.Vec sam ranije pominjao, na zalost samo na osnovu moje crappy memorije - u drugoj polovini 1990-tih je postojala news group (na usenet-u, mozda mladji ne znaju sta je to, al to je iz vremena kad nismo imali forume na internetu) posvecena PhD studijama.Ono sto tek od skora postaje svima ocigledno, mnogima je u toj grupi jos onda bilo jasno. Moguce zato sto su u pitanju uglavnom bili Amerikanci, a oni su inflaciju PhD-ova imali jos odavno.Tip koji je najvise pisao na toj grupi imao je PhD iz fizike, radio je na nekoliko postdokova, i na kraju prematoreo za to. Onda je kompletirao svoj alat (busilicu i tome slicno), registrovao se kao samouposlen, i krenuo da po kucama popravlja male kvarove. I u tome je uspeo, ispostavilo se da moze da se zivi od toga.Na zalost, ne secam se vise detalja, a ta arhiva je odavno potonula negde u dubine matriksa. Mada, ne odustajem, guglam i dalje, mozda naletim negde.

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rajka
+1Vidi se ko je sajkolog.To je samo ljucki. Mnogi PhD studenti su puka sirotinja, i cesto zavape "majko, 'ocul' i ja ovako?!" kad vide nekog biznismen-vumena kako preko reda dobija boarding pass jer je bizmis klasa i ima sve na note, i najnoviji mobilni, ipad itd.Vec sam ranije pominjao, na zalost samo na osnovu moje crappy memorije - u drugoj polovini 1990-tih je postojala news group (na usenet-u, mozda mladji ne znaju sta je to, al to je iz vremena kad nismo imali forume na internetu) posvecena PhD studijama.Ono sto tek od skora postaje svima ocigledno, mnogima je u toj grupi jos onda bilo jasno. Moguce zato sto su u pitanju uglavnom bili Amerikanci, a oni su inflaciju PhD-ova imali jos odavno.Tip koji je najvise pisao na toj grupi imao je PhD iz fizike, radio je na nekoliko postdokova, i na kraju prematoreo za to. Onda je kompletirao svoj alat (busilicu i tome slicno), registrovao se kao samouposlen, i krenuo da po kucama popravlja male kvarove. I u tome je uspeo, ispostavilo se da moze da se zivi od toga.Na zalost, ne secam se vise detalja, a ta arhiva je odavno potonula negde u dubine matriksa. Mada, ne odustajem, guglam i dalje, mozda naletim negde.
pitam se sto nije uzeo da radi kao programer? ako sam dobro razumela narativ tog vremena, us u to doba nije mogla da nadje dovoljno programera, i znam da je mnogi masinski/gradj. i slican inzinjer (ko god je bio numericki dovoljno potkovan da moze da pokupi programerski zanat) iz srbije otisao u ameriku da programira. nekad i ti postdocovi naprave od sebe martyrs..(fun fact: bas u to doba su sergey brin i larry page bili physics phd studenti...)

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Indy
pitam se sto nije uzeo da radi kao programer? ako sam dobro razumela narativ tog vremena, us u to doba nije mogla da nadje dovoljno programera, i znam da je mnogi masinski/gradj. i slican inzinjer (ko god je bio numericki dovoljno potkovan da moze da pokupi programerski zanat) iz srbije otisao u ameriku da programira. nekad i ti postdocovi naprave od sebe martyrs..(fun fact: bas u to doba su sergey brin i larry page bili physics phd studenti...)
Ne secam se detalja, ali moguce da mu oblast koju je specijalizovao nije imala veze s programiranjem. Ili je vec bio jako dobar sa rucnim radom, sto ne bi bilo cudno (posebno ako je sam sebi pravio eksperimentalne postavke, nesto u fazonu Mythbusters-a).U medjuvremenu sam uspeo nesto da iskopam (Google je majka & otac), pa cu da pokrenem temu o tome sta posle PhD-a, da ne trolujem vise ovde. A na ovu temu nemam nikakav savet, mene je muka naterala da to zavrsim. (A to nikome ne preporucujem - ako ne uzivate u tome, nemojte ga raditi).EDIT. U stvari, sad vidim da je tema "vocap", znaci ovo nije troll. Edited by Indy

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Indy

Memorija pamcenja™ je tricky thing... Uspeo sam da izguglam neke stvari u vezi ovog iznad (Google ima usenet arhivu). Tip koga sam spominjao nema veze sa fizikom, biolog je. Istina je da je bio na non-tenured poziciji, i to je napustio i osnovao svoj biznis (za koji nisam uspeo da utvrdim tacno cim se bavi, ali je i dalje registrovan, sudeci po Googleu).On je u to isto vreme dok sam ga citao na usenetu objavio i neke clanke u The Scientistu, koji se jos uvek nalaze na netu: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.authors/authorNo/859/Arthur-SowersImao je i website posvecen karijerama u nauci, ali je to izgleda odavno offline. Uzorak jedne od tih usenet diskusija, ukljucujuci i ceo clanak iz Boston Globe (koji sada postoji u arhivi na netu, ali je paywalled) kacim ispod u spojleru.

AMH

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9/10/98 FYI Here is a link to an article on scientific careers for young biology PhDs. Thingsmust really be bad if it makes it into the Boston Globe...! Enjoyhttp://www.boston.com/dailyglobe/globehtml/253/Young_scientists_face_frustration.shtmlI'm sure many in this group are personally familiar with the content of the article.

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clear.cache.gif Arthur E. Sowers

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9/11/98 - show quoted text -- show quoted text -I have not read that article, but I'm sure I'm already knowledgeable aboutthe subject. Below is a copy of an article forwarded to me that apearedmany many many months ago (I deleted a bunch of email addresses to protectthe privacey of a number of people), but you can get the drift...A problem with some of the newspapers is that I don't know if those URLsare very stable. Some newspapers tried to charge subscriptions for webaccess and I just stopped showing up. Of course, you know I have a smallwebsite with external references to many other websites that talk aboutthese problems. Back issues of The Scientist are free on the web, but asof about two months ago, career problems have become off limits forcontent. Now, it reads almost like its Scientific American.Art Sowers-------------------------------------------------------Written in the public interest, the essays on "Contemporary Problems in Science Jobs" are located at:http://www.access.digex.net/~arthures/homepage.htmhit stats: http://www.access.digex.net/~arthures/.statsTHIS WEBSITE WILL BE MOVING IN THE NEAR FUTURESnail mail adr to me: P.O.Box 489, Georgetown, DE 19947 Email: arth...@dmv.com OR arth...@magpage.comMy "home" newsgroup: sci.research.careers-------------------------------------------------------(see below)****** quoted email below*******Hi All, This just in: According to the Boston Globe's website, http://www.boston.com:80/globe/glohome.htmthey are running a Page 1 story on the depressed state of scientificemployment entitled: "Job market does number on PhDs in math, science"The article features our own Steve Sawin, Geoff Davis, and CharlesYeomans, as well as Donald McClure, Sen. Alan Simpson, and JagdishBhagwati (all cc'ed above). The article discusses the continuing job crisis in the scientificlabor market in the context of the legislative changes in the 'boundaryconditions' (specifically the 'Special Handling' and 'Schedule A' shortageprovisions as well as the misnamed 'Extraordinary Ability' or 'Einstein'Exemption from labor certification).A few comments of mine follow the article: --------------------------------------------------------------------------- JOB MARKET DOES NUMBER ON PHDS IN MATH, SCIENCE----------- By John Yemma, Globe Staff, 03/17/97 Let x equal the shrinking number of job openings for high-level mathematicians, physicists, and other scientists in the United States each year. Let y equal the number of new American- and foreign-born PhD scientists fighting for those jobs. As many young scientists see it, x minus y equals dismal hopes of ever landing a prestigious academic post. ``My situation probably won't elicit much sympathy,'' said Stephen Sawin, an assistant professor of mathematics at Fairfield University in Connecticut. ``I have a nice job now, but I am unhappy with how things progressed for me.'' At a time when overall unemployment has fallen to around 5 percent, high-level scientists have been experiencing double-digit unemployment. This does not put them in unemployment lines or soup kitchens, but it does lead to jobs for which they are overqualified. Take Sawin, 33. He has an undergraduate degree from Princeton, a PhD from Berkeley, and he spent five years doing post-doctoral work at MIT.. He won a prestigious National Science Foundation fellowship, was given letters of recommendation from some of the most notable mathematicians in the field, and has a strong research and publication record. Sawin applied for positions at research universities three years in a row, beginning in 1994 - ``casually the first year, seriously the second, and really, really seriously the third.'' In response to about 90 applications, he received only two job offers before settling on Fairfield, a liberal arts college with a few small graduate programs, where very little research goes on. The job market Sawin thought was there when he decided to pursue pure math back in the 1980s collapsed by the '90s. Throughout the sciences and humanities, new PhDs are complaining about how difficult it is to land one of the prestige academic posts they spent years training for. But in science and math, the job shortage is exacerbated by the steady stream of foreign-born scientists entering the United States. Unlike any other employment category - where the number of foreign workers who may enter the US job market each year has a strict ceiling - US law allows in a virtually endless stream of foreign-born scientists and academics under what is known as the Einstein exemption. Like American doctors, who are urging cuts in the influx of foreign medical students, many young American scientists want fewer foreign-born scientists competing with them for jobs. ``Scientists, engineers, and computer people are getting pretty mashed around'' by US immigration law, said former Senator Alan K. Simpson, coauthor of 1990 immigration reform legislation and now a lecturer at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Critics of current policy say it not only discriminates against one class of Americans - scientists - but discourages young Americans from entering the sciences and may ultimately hamper the country's innovativeness. As Sawin puts it: ``The established generation of scientists hasn't grokked the effect yet - people do not want to go into a field where they scramble to find any job, with little security.'' Joblessness is especially severe in mathematics, a discipline that has seen major academic cutbacks in recent years, an influx of talented mathematicians from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and a continuing increase of foreign-born talent from Asia, led by Chinese, Taiwanese, Indians, and Koreans. ``I've seen what's happened with colleagues in mathematics, and it's horrible,'' said Geoff Davis, an assistant professor of mathematics at Dartmouth. ``They are constantly having to uproot and move from one postdoctoral position to another with no prospect of permanent employment. It is very demoralizing.'' Only about 1,100 new mathematics PhDs are produced each year in the United States, but through much of this decade, mathematicians have experienced unemployment of more than 14 percent - more than twice the rate of the overall economy. The good news, according to the Providence-based American Mathematical Society, is that preliminary figures show math unemployment may have dipped below 10 percent by late last year. But some mathematicians suspect the numbers understate the problem, since they track only new PhDs, not those who have been in the job market for a few years and have given up hope of finding a position in their chosen discipline. The world's biggest employer of mathematicians is the National Security Agency, the super-secret encryption and code-breaking operation based at Fort Meade, Md. It has 400 to 500 mathematicians on staff, and last year it hired 50 fresh math PhDs, accounting for a large part of the year's decrease in unemployment. Some scientists trace the problem back to the mid-1970s, when the National Science Foundation warned of an impending shortage of scientists and mathematicians and urged that the United States open its borders to the best brains from around the world. That warning was reissued as recently as 1990. The shortage never materialized, but in the process university teachers and research scientists were classified for ``special handling'' under immigration laws. This meant an employer could hire a foreign scientist or teacher if it could be shown that he or she was more qualified than native workers. In other fields (except, oddly, shepherding, where a shortage was also believed to exist), a foreigner cannot be hired if even a minimally qualified native is available. While the ``Einstein exemption'' has brought some of the brightest lights in the sciences to the United States, it has also flooded the job market. Among scientists, the surge in foreign-born labor is of growing concern, but fear of being branded a xenophobe, or a sore loser in the job market, has made many reluctant to speak out on the subject. ``You see evidence of immigration everywhere - people from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe,'' said Donald McClure, a professor of math at Brown University. In almost all the hard sciences - physics, math, astronomy - and even in applied sciences like engineering, 40 percent of new PhDs are foreign-born, according to the National Science Foundation. More than two-thirds of these graduates stay in the United States, most already armed with permanent resident status by the time they receive their doctorates. To some observers, that isn't a bad thing. ``I'm sure a lot of other countries would like to have the problem of attracting too many brilliant people to their country,'' said Stuart Anderson, an immigration policy specialist at the Cato Institute, a free-market think tank in Washington, D.C. The brain drain is a problem for other countries, said Mario Molina, MIT professor of earth, atmosphere, and planetary sciences. Molina was born in Mexico, is now a US citizen, and won a Nobel Prize in 1995. ``It is rather obvious that a significant number of MIT professors who have excelled were foreign born,'' said Molina. ``For most research, it is very hard to think of circumstances where there appears to be no benefit'' for the country that has liberal immigration. Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati, an Indian native, describes how the influx of foreign scientists pushes bright natives into jobs in second-tier schools and in other segments of the economy, improving overall quality. Natives, he said, have more options in the wider market than foreigners. Mathematicians, for instance, are in strong demand on Wall Street. ``I'm not saying there aren't temporary adjustment problems,'' Bhagwati said, but almost everybody in the nation ``benefits when the super-brightest people in the world see America as the place to go.'' Meanwhile, a number of talented natives have to find work - people like Charles Yeomans, who received a PhD in math in 1990 from the University of Kentucky and now handles the accounting network for his wife's law firm. ``I'm fairly laissez-faire on most issues, but for me individually it has been very frustrating,'' Yeomans said. ``Now I do math on the side. You could say I've regained my amateur status.'' This story ran on page a1 of the Boston Globe on 03/17/97.-------------------------------------------------------------- To my knowledge this is the first time that a major article hasmentioned the fact that employers of academicians and sheepherders are theonly two groups which are singled out for the *special handling*'priveledge' among the nation's many employers. I point out that accordingto the Western Range Association, the critical shortage of BasqueSheepherders has been continuing unabated since the laws were passed in1952 and 1954; we scientists are thus the relative newcomers on thisblock.As a post-script, I want to point out Bhagwati's quote in the article: ``I'm not saying there aren't temporary adjustment problems,'' Bhagwati said, but almost everybody in the nation ``benefits when the super-brightest people in the world see America as the place to go.''in light of the following excerpt from his superb article with Milind Rao: "[Gluts of scientists and engineers] can be expected to continue. But why should we take this as a problem? As these Ph.D.s eventually take jobs downstream, their expertise becomes available to institutions and firms that can benefit from superior talent and education at unexpectedly affordable prices. Economists have documented how such downstreaming improves national medical care, for instance, as doctors crowded into urban areas find their earnings falling and then begin to settle in rural areas. This should be a matter for satisfaction, not lament."As I have pointed out before, Bhagwati is seemingly the only prominentfigure speaking out on the subject with the courage to admit that one ofthe main benefits of a flooded market is that it makes scientistsavailable 'at unexpectedly affordable prices'. I think he should bepraised and not vilified for having the integrity to point out how thisprogram really works. On the other hand, I will again point out that when risk aversionis factored into the employment decisions of conservative sciencedepartments, it is quite possible for universities flooded withapplications to maximize their 'expected utility' by throwing away thoserisk takers (both foreign and domestic) with the highest 'expectedreturns' on their research. In a previous era, many of those highrisk/high return individuals would have simply bounced down a notchinstead of bouncing out of science all together. In short:***There remains no credible economic argument that flooding the marketnecessarily produces the best research or researchers.***As usual however, I am most eager to hear the thoughts of others.[deleted]

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