The question:

6$\begingroup$ The complementary question would be: "What areas/aspects of mathematics are overrepresented on MO?". $\endgroup$– Stefan Kohl ModAug 31, 2015 at 20:22

12$\begingroup$ Dear Stefan, I dont think this is a good "complementary question," and, in any case, I did not ask it. $\endgroup$– Gil KalaiAug 31, 2015 at 20:29

4$\begingroup$ I agree that to list things that are overrepresented is asking for trouble. Let us hope that on your question users will be more respectful regarding what you did not ask than we saw lately elsewhere. Other than that the data comparing arXiv and MO is a starting point. $\endgroup$– user9072Aug 31, 2015 at 20:52

1$\begingroup$ Dear quid, Since we do not have a limited capacity, I don't even understand the notion of "overrepresentation" in MOcontext. Larger scope and better covering of underrepresented areas, may well be beneficial for those interested in wellrepresented area. $\endgroup$– Gil KalaiAug 31, 2015 at 21:44

1$\begingroup$ I should have written "perceived as overrepresented" since my point was just to agree with you that it is better not to entertain the question what if anything might be overrepresented (as opposed to trying to hint at the existence of overrepresented areas/aspects). However, abstractly, I do not think that your argument that as we do not have a limited capacity this is entirely a nonissue is sound. I think would all of a sudden 300 combinatorics question appear each day, then you and I might like this but maybe some would find it harder to find the content they are interested in. $\endgroup$– user9072Aug 31, 2015 at 22:22

$\begingroup$ We are in agreement, quid! When I talked about "MOcontext," I referred to the MO reality, and not abstractly. $\endgroup$– Gil KalaiSep 1, 2015 at 7:46

$\begingroup$ related question meta.mathoverflow.net/q/2363/454 we see Algebraic Geometry and Number Theory are above, while Mathematical Physics and Information Theory are below. $\endgroup$– Gerald EdgarSep 2, 2015 at 15:16

2$\begingroup$ Possibly related? ams.org/notices/201011/rtx101101421p.pdf $\endgroup$– Timothy ChowSep 4, 2015 at 16:11

$\begingroup$ @TimothyChow  a causual glance suggests to me that the biases of PAMS, TAMS, and MO are significantly correlated. I would like to know what the numbers for SIAM journals do in comparison and in superposition. $\endgroup$– Steve HuntsmanSep 4, 2015 at 19:41

6$\begingroup$ Can all those not present raise your hands? $\endgroup$– Chris RamseySep 8, 2015 at 14:34
4 Answers
IMO applied mathematics is underrepresented across disciplines.

7$\begingroup$ Where is your standard link this time? :) More seriously, I agree with the observation. It might be hard to change though as some of the potential traffic is likely already firmly directed to other (SE) sites. Still I feel (or rather felt, I pay less attention lately) the site is sometimes unwelcoming to more applied questions, which is something that one might try to fix. $\endgroup$– user9072Sep 1, 2015 at 10:31

$\begingroup$ Underrepresentation of applied mathematics was mentioned a few times back in the "tea" days, e.g., in this thread: tea.mathoverflow.net/discussion/1483/1/… $\endgroup$ Sep 4, 2015 at 16:13

$\begingroup$ @TimothyChow: There's my standard link! $\endgroup$ Sep 4, 2015 at 19:28

$\begingroup$ The link in the above comment does not work at the moment, but it can be found in the Wayback Machine or on my copy. $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2021 at 5:56
Ergodic theory usually has several papers in Annals and Inventiones each year, and is regularly mentioned when the work of recent Fields medalists is described (e.g. Avila, Lindenstrauss, Mirzakhani) but I think that there are no more than ten ergodic theorists who contribute regularly to MathOverflow.
Here is a nice statistic: since MathOverflow opened, there have been as many Fields Medals awarded to researchers active in ergodic theory as there have been bronze tag badges issued for answering ergodic theory questions on MathOverflow. Based on current rates of progress, the first silver tag badge for ergodic theory will be awarded to Anthony Quas at some point in the spring of 2022.

5$\begingroup$ The fact that a nonspecialist (yours truly) formed the "ergodictheory" tag many months after MO started up is also pretty solid evidence that the field was underrepresented from the beginning. But I am very glad that it had some knowledgeable representatives who could answer my elementary questions! $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2015 at 1:23

1$\begingroup$ One question I am curious about is what is the origin of the name "ergodic" what does it mean and what is its history. $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2015 at 16:27

1$\begingroup$ @GilKalai: see note 8 of plato.stanford.edu/entries/statphysBoltzmann/notes.html $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2015 at 20:22

3$\begingroup$ I would like to add that the cousins of Ergodic theory, i.e. various flavors of dynamical systems are also quite under represented here. $\endgroup$ Sep 9, 2015 at 6:46

With Keith Kearnes participating on MathOverflow (and hopefully asking questions soon), I am confident that Universal Algebra will be represented to my satisfaction. Taking that personal perspective as a benchmark, I turn to the Tags page and note that the universalalgebra tag has been used 20 times this year for questions. I suggest that any tag that a) represents a sizeable area of mathematics, and b) has fewer than 20 questions asked this year is a good candidate for an underrepresented area. In particular, conformalgeometry, mathematicalwriting, and combinatorialgametheory are underrepresented by this measure. I know I would like to see more questions in the last two areas.
Gerhard "And More Pictures From Joseph" Paseman, 2015.08.31
I would like to see more questions in freeprobability, whose tag has 13 questions, or more generally in noncommutative probability. While this may be a relatively small area of mathematics it should interest many parties, namely, probability, combinatorics, and functional analysis.