I assumed the name of our site “MathOverflow” is derived from the name “Stack Overflow” of the first and largest site that used the same base software (Stack Exchange). Is this so?

If it is, then what is the historical reason why “MathOverflow” does not have a space before the “Overflow” part when “Stack Overflow” does?

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Historically, MathOverflow did have a space in its name. It was removed sometime between November 1 and November 24, 2010. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 23:11
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ And it looks cleaner this way, without a space. $\endgroup$
    – Joël
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ The reason is that the stream of ideas of a mathematician is not to be interrupted by a blank space! $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 16:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps because it is Mathematica nomenclature syntax that way. $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 1:21
  • 15
    $\begingroup$ It was lost in the same storm which washed away the "s" $\endgroup$
    – J.J. Green
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ @WilliamofBaskerville; however with programmers... $\endgroup$
    – JMP
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ Even better as "Mathoverflow" $\endgroup$
    – YCor
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


Anton Geraschenko discusses the origin of the name in this post from November 11, 2009:

There are lots of reasons I think "MathOverflow" is an excellent name. Of course, I'm somewhat biased. It pays tribute to Stack Overflow, which I think is important because in addition to running the software developed for SO, MO runs basically the same philosophy as SO. If you do know about Stack Overflow, "MathOverflow" is the canonical name. When I had put up a beta sign-up sheet for MO, but wasn't advertising at all, a lot of the sign-ups came from an SO comment thread where somebody had independently invented the name "mathoverflow" and somebody pointed out that such a domain was actually registered and such a site was actually going to exist.

While indeed (as Dmitri Pavlov points out) the first 2009 design of the site said "Math Overflow" with a space, as one would expect from a Stack Overflow analogue, this comment by Anton suggests that he thought of the site without a space from the very beginning, and in 2010 the design caught up.


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