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Keeping Your Research Alive

Lew's Liftoff

There are several good reasons for keeping your research program alive. An obvious one, for those who are fortunate enough to be on the tenure track, is to assure a sufficient publication record to be granted tenure at your institution. Of course, if you are not in a tenure track position, you should have just as much if not more incentive for working on your research. After all, you want to remain a strong candidate for when you are back in the job market. Even if your duties and interests are primarily in the teaching of mathematics, there are still compelling reasons for continuing to remain active in research. It's important for our students to realize that mathematics research is a current and ongoing activity! As working mathematicians, we have a responsibility to communicate the vibrancy of our subject. You may know that new results and ideas are being discovered every day, but do your students? Finally, there is also the general benefit that research, like any other mental exercise, helps keep your mind sharp.

Of course, since it's safe to assume that you are reading this article, you probably don't need convincing that research is important. The question is not ``why'' but ``how''. I can't offer a definitive answer here, only some suggestions.

The main thing to remember is to maintain a high level of professionalism in all of your projects, whether research, teaching or other professional activities. This translates roughly to ``Do a good job, and make your mama and papa proud.'' If you consistently do good work, then you will gain respect among your peers no matter what direction you pursue in this rapidly changing profession of ours.

Next: Marge's Musings Up: Keeping Your Research Alive Previous: Introduction

Paul Humke
Thu Apr 24 09:25:11 CDT 1997