This is a thread where people can ask questions that they would ordinarily feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to. The previous "stupid" questions thread went to over 800 comments in two and a half weeks, so I think it's time for a new one.

This is a thread where people can ask questions that they would ordinarily feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to. The previous "stupid" questions thread went to over 800 comments in two and a half weeks, so I think it's time for a new one.

1) PHD thesis topic.

2) Grinding out least publishable units in anticipation of a tenure application.

I'm trying to estimate the level of "talent" one needs to make graduate study in mathematics not entirely pointless.

From my understanding of grad students per year:new faculty hires per year ratios, you need to be in about the 95th percentile of math grad students.