Right now the sites statistics page shows that MathOverflow is seeing an average of 38 questions per day. Is there a plot of this average over time somewhere? My perception is that it has been increasing, to the point where not visiting for a day can render relevant questions invisible without some searching effort.

(22May2015). It would be nice to see some data over 2014 & 2015. I tried to run some queries myself but I have not yet mastered enough of the query syntax to do this easily. I note that the number of questions per day is now listed at 39, just 1 more than visits/day in Nov 2013.

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    $\begingroup$ For what interest it might have, I think MSE has well over 10 times that much per day. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 14:52
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddTrimble: Yes, 538 questions per day. Which makes it impossible (for me) to browse casually--I can only interact usefully with MSE via searches. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ According to the data in this/my answer (though the relevant data for this question was added by François G. Dorais) the number of questions is pretty stable over time, there was a peak in the second quarter of this year though (due to the network joining it is to be assumed, but already the 3rd qurter seemed pretty much back to average). $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ @quid: Thanks. So my perception is incorrect! $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Joseph: are you filtering tags on math.SE? This is what I did before I stopped going entirely and it helped for awhile. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 23, 2013 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ Here is a nice analysis of MSE's Q/A activity: MSE meta link. $\endgroup$ Commented May 24, 2015 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


The average number of questions per day is relatively stable but the variance is considerable and shows weekly fluctuation patterns. Here is a data explorer query that shows the number of questions with nonnegative score per day, given month and year. (Use the 'fork query' button to play around with the code.)

         (November plot added by J.O'Rourke.)

Here is the distribution of questions per day in 2013 from January 1 to November 16:

MO Questions per Day

And here is the same for 2012, 2011, 2010.

MO Questions per Day 2012

MO Questions per Day 2011

MO Questions per Day 2010

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, François! Quite a plummet on the weekends. Peaks in midweek. A bit surprising to me that mathematicians follow the rhythms of the work week, but they (or at least, question-posers) clearly do. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 17:24
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    $\begingroup$ @JosephO'Rourke: Here is the matching query for answers in case you want to compare - data.stackexchange.com/mathoverflow/query/148268/… $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ @François Dorais: You say that the graph corresponds to questions with non-negative score only. Is the same true of the histograms in this answer? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 10:39
  • $\begingroup$ @RicardoAndrade: Yes, questions with negative score have limited life span anyway. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ @François Dorais: There are many old questions with negative score still left on mathoverflow. Has there been a change in the procedure regarding questions with negative score after joining the stack exchange network? More importantly, since the present question asks about the quantity of new questions, I think it would be helpful to also show the total number of questions per day. Would that be possible, or is there not enough information available about the number of deleted questions? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ @RicardoAndrade: I don't think you can get deleted questions through the data explorer. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ @François Dorais: That is too bad... Do you know if there is any place where one can find out the total number of questions asked on mathoverflow on a given day? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ @RicardoAndrade: You can remove the score restriction on the query but you still won't get deleted questions that way. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 16:38
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    $\begingroup$ Moderators can search for deleted questions and get an estimate that way, but regular users don't have access to that option. $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Joseph: That's not news at all, actually. I have long noticed that during the weekend the front page moves far slower than during the rest of the week. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 23:03

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