xiv PREFACE effectively and successfully in this new setting? What are my goals? What is expected of me? To whom am I answerable? On the face of it, the Ph.D. is preparation for a research career. The fresh Ph.D. should be chomping at the bit to prove theorems and write papers. But it is a hard fact that most American Ph.D. mathematicians write very few papers. According to recent statistics from the American Mathematical Society, of those authors who publish anything at all in their careers: About 43% publish only one paper About 15% publish only two papers About 8% publish only three papers About 75% publish five or fewer papers Many authors publish just a paper based on the thesis and nothing more. Why is this? Is the cutting of the (academic) umbilical cord so traumatic that most people just fall off the wagon? Or are the reasons more complicated? Do people just get wrapped up in other duties, or other career pursuits, and decide after a while that “publish or perish” is not part of their credo? Are they perhaps in jobs in which publishing and doing research is not really the thing that is rewarded? And what about teaching? If you are working for the National Security Agency (as, for instance, three of my Ph.D. students now are), then you certainly will not be teaching classes, grading papers, or giving grades. But you will have to give seminars. You will have to mentor others. You will have to provide guidance to younger staff members. How does one learn these skills? And, no matter where you work or what you do, you will no doubt work as part of a team. You will have to function in meetings and on conference calls and in interactions with your supervisors and your subordinates. If you are in an academic job, then your role(s) in life is carefully de- lineated and described in your institution’s Tenure Document: teaching, research, and service are the three branches of an academic’s professional activity. He/she is judged on each of these, and in different ways. For exam- ple, if you manage to prove the Riemann hypothesis, then it doesn’t matter whether you spend your time at staff meetings rolling your eyes and hum- ming The Battle Hymn of the Republic. If you are a world-class teacher,
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