Academic proverbs

Got a google hit for “academic proverbs”. I did not know there was a market for such; here you go.

* * *

A little learning is a dangerous thing. A lot of learning tends to make you harmless.

Don’t beat a dead horse. That’s against the ethical guidelines.

Better to remain silent and be thought a co-author than to speak and remove yourself from the participant list.

Do not cut off your nose to spite the dean. Cut off the dean’s nose. (Compiler’s note: While this saying may alarm newcomers and deans, it is usually strictly metaphorical.)

Do not put all your grants in the same basket.

Late to bed and early to rise, has been shown to be a contributing factor to work-hour somnolence syndrome.

Every post-doc has its day.

For want of a comma the sentence was lost; for want of a sentence the paragraph was lost; and for want of a paragraph the grant was lost.

Fortune favors the tenured.

The dean helps those that help themselves.

Hell hath no fury. See [1].

If anything can go wrong, it’s a thesis project.

If you cannot stand the heat, study theoretical thermodynamics instead.

If wishes were papers, postdocs would have tenure.

If you cannot beat them, cite them.

Keep your friends close and your graduate students closer. (Compiler’s note: But remember the ethical guidelines!)

Do not count your papers before they are published.

Publish and the department publishes with you; retract and you retract alone.

Let the course fit the students.

There’s a slim difference betwixt “course” and “curse” for the exchange student.

Administration is the root of all evil. (Compiler’s note: But they have the root passwords, too!)

Money does not grow on trees, but if the biologists get rich, call me.

Never put off until tomorrow what your graduate student can do today.

Old professors never die; they just don’t.

Professor, review thyself!

Red marks in exams, professors’ delight; red marks in review copies, professors’ warning.

Seek, and ye shall find Izvestiya Rossijskoj Akademii Nauk. Seriya Matematicheskaya, vol. 64, no. 2, pp. 3–60, 1955.

The research is always better on the other side of the fence. On this side of the fence, there are numerous gremlins of height less than fence height, bedeviling the research.

The only good physicist is a dead physicist. (Attributed to Charles “Newtonsbane” Lichyard, Cambridge professor of anatomy, 1670–1732)

You cannot make a Ph.D. without cooking a few ramen.

There is no such thing as a free conference, but if there is, call me.

There are none so deaf as those who are graduate students.

Those who do not learn Advanced Analysis III are doomed to repeat it.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two minuses do make a plus. (Related: Never trust a mathematician.)

When the professor is away, the students will play. This does not logically imply, however, that if the professor is not away, the students will not play.

What is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. Sauce for noodles and macaroni, too. Students can’t be choosers.

You cannot judge a book by its cover. Because it’s always the same cover. Dammit, Springer!

You can lead a graduate student to the paper, but you cannot make it think. (Compiler’s note: The “it” does not reflect new attitudes, but rather very old ones.)

You are never too old to learn, but very soon you’ll be too old to contribute.

Youth is for articles; old age for books.

* * *

The Cycle of Publications turns, and Issues come and pass, leaving publications that become citations. Citation fades to reference, and even reference is long made the usual uncited method when the reader that needs it comes a-looking.

(Jordan, “Classical cases in series expansion“,
Wot. Pub. Tor. Soc., 1 (1), 1990)

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