Steven Scott Bayesian states that teaching and mentoring undergraduates and doing their own research will be the main activities of a maths professor. Teaching hours will be set but extra mentoring and research hours will be dependent on what the professor is currently working on and at what part of their journey the students have reached. It will also be affected by them having a PHD student or maybe more than one.
At times the support required for the students will be enormous this can be great at the beginning of the program and also when coming up to exams. Some professors will see it as their duty to provide support to their students at their every whim, others will believe that this does not show individual study and maturity so will only do this for so long.
Again, professors will have their own ideas on how many papers they want to submit relating to their own research and also the amount of time they are able, or they wish to spend on these papers. Sometimes they will leave some of this for the Summer months and vacation times. Some in true mathematician style will set will set rigorous time plans detailing what will be done on a weekly or even daily basis but real life can often get in the way of this.
How they tackle it all and when can be as specific as their mathematical specialism but there is one thing that is certain. Being a professor is a highly competitive occupation. At a research university this competitive element never seems to reduce. All academics held together under one roof and surrounded by students to influence seems too much of a temptation for most not to be competitive.
The reasons for competition are two-fold, firstly they are academic and also in terms of receiving grants. Mathematicians teaching in a university will all fight to be promoted and for extra status in their department. They will all apply for external funding for their research papers etc. The competition can be negative especially when you lose out but if it is eventually shared round then everyone has their turn in being the winner and the loser.
The other element of the competition is that competition is natural to a mathematician. Their very nature wants them to strive forward and find out about things other people have not yet discovered. We always want to be bigger and get better results and more accurate testing and basically to improve methods, techniques and skills for the subject that we are passionate about. This level of competition is what makes us tick, what keeps us striving to succeed and makes people continue doing mathematics when they have a passion and skill for it. When an achievement is made on this level, all of the petty squabbling, bickering and competition falls into insignificance for all of us. A revolutionary new find or an exciting new paper will have us all pulling together as a team and revelling in the exciting new find for their college.