Is it ok to ask questions from books like Probabilistic Method by Noga Alon, the * marked ones, since they are tough questions but not exactly research level questions.

I had already asked this question on StackExchange but i haven't got a reply yet.

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    $\begingroup$ You mean this question?: math.stackexchange.com/questions/1539389/probabilstic-method . I'd say this looks like a mere reproduction of a textbook exercise, which additionally suffers poor grammar and multiple spelling mistakes, including one in the title. I'd say, please don't post such questions on MO. That said, if you have an interesting own question which arises from a textbook exercise, and you put some reasonable efforts into the formulation, then such question is of course welcome. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Nov 22, 2015 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


It was always understood that 'research-level' includes (advanced) graduate material. Thus, the level of the question is not in itself a problem.

However, questions that are mere reproductions of problems from assignments or books, or even just are presented like those, often are not well-received.

Thus, I'd say you likely could ask questions concerning the problems in the book, while just posting the problems in the book verbatim likely will cause problems.

Your post on math.SE is somewhat in the middle. It is not a pure reproduction, but there is also not much done in addition either. It is hard to predict what would happen if you had posted that here.

  • $\begingroup$ I've had the experience of posting such a question here and having it moved to math.SE because it wasn't research level, with the people there saying essentially "Hey that field sounds interesting, where can I learn about it?" $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2015 at 2:23

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