I have recently posted the following question on MO: "Approximation with Predefined Topology of Niveau Sets", which received close to zero attention.

Igor Khavkine was so kind to make me aware of scicomp.stackexchange.com, which also would have been appropriate place for posting my problems, however, I am a bit ambivalent about how to proceed.

Mathoverflow seems to me to be the more overarching forum for "advanced-level-mathematics", so it might be in the interest of the MO community to also be presented non-trivial practical problems even though the chances of getting more attention on a specialized site like scicomp.stackexchange.com would be bigger.

The major options I see, would be to

  • present problems that also have a strong computational aspect on MO first and migrate them if they don't receive enough feedback

  • present such questions simultaneously to both forums and provide cross-links between the sites

  • only post on the site that seems more suitable in terms of expected feedback

Questions for discussion:
which of the above (or other) options would be an appropriate choice, in view of the fact that the relation between MathOverflow and Computational Science is not a hierarchical one as between MathOverflow and SE Mathematics.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Fourth option: post to both sites (if needed) but not simultaneously (but with a delay of a couple of days, and still mentioning the other question). Also, you might present the question slightly differently for another target audience. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


I would like to second @quid's comment, especially the latter half: Although there is some overlap between the communities, the scope of scicomp and MO is sufficiently different that it makes sense to tailor your question to each site: Have a common introduction describing the problem and the background, and a second section with the specific question -- with the more theoretical aspects only on MO, and the more computational/numerical aspects only on SciComp. In this case, I don't think a delay would be necessary, since you're asking two different (but related) questions. Naturally, a link would still be a good idea.

In fact, a question that can be asked on either site is likely a poor question on both sites (meaning it can be improved by making it more specific).

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for providing an opinion from somebody that actually is active on both sites. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ Taking my question as an example, am I right, that MO would be appropriate for asking for existence of and references to solutions of the problem and SciComp would then be the right place to ask for advice in selecting an algorithm and how to handle specific requirements for the solution or peculiarities of my computing infrastructure? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ That was exactly what I had in mind. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 7:31

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