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Math Help - UK maths postdocs (and lack thereof)

  1. #1
    MHF Contributor Swlabr's Avatar
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    UK maths postdocs (and lack thereof)

    In a letter written to David Cameron, some (well, pretty much "the") top British-based mathematicians point out that we need maths research and that ceasing to fund postdocs in this area is stupid (as then newly-graduated British PhDs will go somewhere else).

    I have been meaning to learn French for a few years. I now have an incentive.
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  2. #2
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Re: UK maths postdocs (and lack thereof)

    I suppose we should have seen this coming >>here<< is Tim Gowers Blog post on essentially this from back in July.

    Time to roll out the usual work arounds:

    1. Representing work in one area as being in another (analysis as probability theory is one of the better known).

    2. Apparently working on one problem while really working on something completely different

    3. ..



    CB
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  3. #3
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    Re: UK maths postdocs (and lack thereof)

    pretty sure that almost any form of pure mathematics could be passed off as: Information Analysis and Social Networking. meh...who needs to know the society isn't human, right?

    sad, really, because the UK's emphasis on engineers and applied mathematics, means that the next generation of "leaders" will not have the best tools available to them. it's like the decision has been made to hire more fire-tenders, at the expense of the woodcutters who bring the fuel. burn bright, brittania, burn bright.
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  4. #4
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Re: UK maths postdocs (and lack thereof)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deveno View Post
    pretty sure that almost any form of pure mathematics could be passed off as: Information Analysis and Social Networking. meh...who needs to know the society isn't human, right?

    sad, really, because the UK's emphasis on engineers and applied mathematics, means that the next generation of "leaders" will not have the best tools available to them. it's like the decision has been made to hire more fire-tenders, at the expense of the woodcutters who bring the fuel. burn bright, brittania, burn bright.
    My employer has a policy (unstated but obvious) of not employing mathematicians of any ilk. Despite being (one of) the largest engineering company(ies) in the country and its competitors and principle customer being the first destination of many maths graduates in the UK it has regularly not even appeared in the list of first destinations for maths graduates.

    It also seems to have a policy only of employing people as what once would have been called fitters or graduates for the engineering management training course, but no one to do design and all those other messy details that seem to be involved in building anything. As it says IIRC in the share-holder briefing the company does not want to design and build anything itself in future but wants to be prime contract (that is administer the project with sub-contractors doing the actual design, build and integration). It is a bit embarrassing that it owns some of the last shipyards and aircraft factories in the UK.

    I should also add that the mathematical competence of the majority (~95% say) of "professional" engineers in the company is appalling (read non-existent) and if I were the customer I would be very worried about our products before rather than after they catch fire and kill people rather than after.

    (I will probably have to remove this post in a day or so for ..... reasons)

    CB
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