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Monday, June 19, 2006


It has been a good long while. This past semester has been a busy one; though my course load wasn't that heavy (the usual three courses) I had mathematical statistics, linear algebra and numerical methods.

Those courses, while enjoyable to teach, require quite a bit of preparation.

During this time, I mostly focused on finishing a paper for publication; I am one more review of the rough draft away from sending it out.

When I send it out, I'll post a link to a preprint and discuss it on this blog. Don't worry; I doubt that this paper will be foundational!

So what happens when one sends a paper out?

The editor gets it, and decides if it is worth sending to a referee. The referee checks to see if it is correct and if it is interesting enough for that journal.

What have been my results? In the past, I've had the following:
  • Accepted with very minor revisions (typo correction and the like)
  • Accepted with moderate revisions: explain this, delete that, modify this proof in this way, put in a diagram, etc.
  • Accepted pending revisions: there is a problem but a fixable one
  • Rejected with a recommendation to resubmit if a problem is fixed
  • Rejected with a recommendation that I send the paper elsewhere (paper isn't appropriate for the given journal; i. e., too specialized, not high enough quality for the target journal, etc.)
  • Rejected with a recommendation that I expand the result to make it more interesting
  • Rejected because of a math error (a couple of times; I was grateful that something not obviously false was published)
  • Rejected because my paper just wasn't interesting.
Fortunately, every rejection has lead directly to another publication; most of the time another paper or, in one instance, a published "problem."

To be honest, my research is far from stellar, but my stuff has appeared in the following journals: College Mathematic Journal, American Mathematical Monthly, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, Houston Journal of Mathematics, Journal of Knot Theory and its Ramifications (most of my stuff appears here), Bulletin of the Mexican Mathematical Society, Missouri Journal of the Mathematical Sciences and one refereed conference Proceedings (Low-Dimensional Topology, Knoxville 1992).

On another note: I got funding to attend the Math Fest in Knoxville from August 10-12 this year.


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