Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Snowflake Mail.

From: .....
Sent: January 14, 2013 9:51 PM
To: vog3lfr3i
Subject: attached file to doing problem

  Dear Dr. vog3lfr3i ,

  I hope that you will be fine.I am a master research student.I have attached doc file .its math problem doing problem kindly you favor me to solve the problem i am waiting anxiously.



u(x) =    @x2 u(x) = 2 for all x 2 (0, 1),
u(0) = 1,    u(1) = 0

on the subsequent one-dimensional equidistant grid.

Find u(x) analytically such that the equation and the boundary conditions are satisfied.
Use a computer program of your choice to plot the function u(x) in the interval [0; 1].

Discretize the second order derivative  @x@2 u(x) using the finite dierence scheme.
d)   Express the discretized boundary value problem as a system of linear equations Au = f for the given 1-D grid. What is the dimension of the system?

e)   Solve the system of equations Au = f by hand on paper.

f)    Write a computer programm in the language of your choice which solves Au = f. Compare the result with your calculation by hand.

g)   Plot the solution obtained by solving Au = f in the coordinate system where the analytical solution is already plotted. What do you observe? 

From: vog3lfr3i
Sent: January 15, 2013 9:21 AM
Subject: re: attached file to doing problem

Son, I have some bad news for you: 

a) I'm not going to do your homework for you.

b) If you are too math/computer challenged to do this, there is no way anyone should give you a master's degree.      

c) It would be fairly easy to find the answer to this problem by asking The Great Google.  I suspect that you are too illiterate to manage even that.  

Please don't bother me again.  My own students make me want to cry, unsolicited flakiness makes me want to drive pens through my eyes. 




  1. International student? That doesn't sound like native-English snowflakery. Is this a student at your school, at least, or a total rando?

  2. This sort of thing totally happens to me, too.

  3. I always reply, "LOL" to these emails. They don't like it, but it puts them in their place.

  4. I had a flake come to my office towards the end of last semester. She was not one of my flakes. She did not introduce herself. She simply opened my door without knocking (!!!) and asked if I could proofread her paper. I must have looked like a poleaxed cow, because she almost looked embarrassed as I (rather gently) explained that No, that's not a service college professors provide, and had she considered going to the student tutoring center? As it was after 5 pm, the center was closed, alas, and the paper was due at 6:30 pm.


  5. A few years ago I reported in a faculty meeting the same "proofread my paper" request I got from an unfamiliar student, and was alarmed at how many people said things like, "Well, it's a positive sign that he was asking for help," and "Really, how much time would it have taken you to help him?"

    I never uttered a word about these events ever again.

    1. I've had colleagues say that to me, too, when I complain that random students show up requesting that I proofread their papers for other classes. I want to show up at my colleague's offices late in the day asking them to do my taxes or diagnose my pear tree's yellow-leaf problem for free.

  6. Tell the flake that your consulting fee is $150 per hour, $600 minimum, and that you accept all major credit cards.

    1. No, jack it up to $300/hr, $1500 minimum.

      There could be a business in this....

    2. And ay My institution, as long as the flake is not in in your unit, I believe it could count as legitimate consulting.

  7. I think the answer would be to send this link, and this link only: http://bit.ly/VIYEsD

  8. I remember a pair of students from a different department who came to me for advice. They came to the department office asking for information on a particular subject which wasn't part of their curriculum but related to a project they were working on. The department secretary asked if I knew something about that, I said yes, and I got stuck with them.

    At no time did I do their work for them. Instead, I told them what to look for and think about, suggesting they go to the library or, perhaps, a different department. They were happy with that and went off.

    I saw them a few more times that term and I did the same thing. Just before exams, they made a class presentation about their project and they got the highest mark. They were grateful for my assistance and gave me a copy of their report. The best comment, though, was that they said they learned a lot, so what started out as a disruption resulted in something more important.

  9. What? No mention of the large fortune left in my name by a deceased government official, requiring only my bank data so I can claim it?

    (I mean, it's really at that level.)

  10. @Lemurpants

    Not one of ours, mine would be too afraid to try this with me.

    English is an official language here but not the mother tongue for most people.

  11. I'm about 90% sure this is from someone selling their services on one of those sites where students pay for "hints" for their homework ("no really, it's just hints, our tutors are told not to do the homework and it's in our terms of service and everything and we don't at all turn a blind eye to the fact that students typically reject anything but complete answers, honest, it's really ethical")

    These people subcontract to other such sites at insanely low rates, internet forums and apparently now also by spamming profs.


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