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As you may have seen, the nominations for the 2021 moderator election will be open on March 29. Per StackExchange rules, MO users are expected to nominate themselves for the election. For some people, it may appear awkward to nominate oneself. The purpose of this question is for the community to encourage users to nominate themselves.

Whom would you like to persuade to stand for election? Please nominate those who you think would be good moderators in the answer below, with one person per answer. Naturally the suggested users would have to agree, and nominate themselves in the usual SE way.

This question should not become a "pre-vote," or be seen as such. At the same time, we do want to encourage good candidates to take part. I'm not sure how to balance these aims. Also, just in case, I want to make clear that I do not intend to nominate myself, and hence feel neutral in raising this question.

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    $\begingroup$ @FrancescoPolizzi Please make your suggestions into answers! That way, the nominees can accept or decline in comments attached to the answers without making a big mess here. $\endgroup$ – S. Carnahan Mar 24 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ Will an entirely new slate of moderators be elected? $\endgroup$ – Sam Hopkins Mar 25 at 1:37
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    $\begingroup$ @SamHopkins: No, the old moderators serve until they step down. There was a comment sometime last fall that suggested that at least one moderator does want to step down (the comment didn't say which), but most of them will be staying on. $\endgroup$ – Noah Snyder Mar 25 at 2:20
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    $\begingroup$ @NoahSnyder: Thanks. I feel like doing voting it would be useful to know which current moderators were staying on. $\endgroup$ – Sam Hopkins Mar 25 at 2:22
  • $\begingroup$ @S.Carnahan: done $\endgroup$ – Francesco Polizzi Mar 25 at 6:38
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    $\begingroup$ By the way, here is the list of current moderators (it's a bit hard to get to this page if you don't know how): mathoverflow.net/users?tab=moderators $\endgroup$ – Sam Hopkins Mar 25 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ @SamHopkins None of the current moderators are expected to step down. Some of the moderators have reduced their activity on the user-visible end of things, but none have expressed the desire to fully step down. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Mar 25 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais: That's good to know, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Sam Hopkins Mar 25 at 20:01
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais: Thanks for the clarification. My apologies for spreading misinformation, I'm not sure why I got that in my head, looking back at Scott Carnahan's post on the matter there's no such comment there! $\endgroup$ – Noah Snyder Mar 26 at 1:42
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    $\begingroup$ This heads-up from Catija should perhaps be more widely known: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/57495022#57495022. $\endgroup$ – jeq Mar 31 at 4:34
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    $\begingroup$ @jeq Let me repeat the heads-up here, so that it takes one less click to reach (chat is terribad for these things): "MO will be the first site using the new election voting interface. It's described on MSE here. This is a pretty important thing in my mind as, with three candidate slots, allowing y'all to rank more than three people means that your votes are more likely to be tallied in their entirety." $\endgroup$ – Federico Poloni Mar 31 at 7:20
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais Now that nominations are closed, this question should probably be un-featured (and likely closed or even locked as well). $\endgroup$ – gmvh Apr 6 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ @gmvh: Certainly it should be un-featured, but I don't see a reason to close or lock it. For example, look at all the earlier questions concerning the 2013 election. $\endgroup$ – Lucia Apr 6 at 14:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Lucia Well, I personally think questions that cannot reasonably receive new answers any more, but which should be preserved in their present state for the historical record, should be closed or locked. That this wasn't done in the previous election is no reason not to do it now (and indeed also to do it for those older questions). $\endgroup$ – gmvh Apr 6 at 14:38

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I would like to nominate YCor. He has made many contributions on main and meta, and is committed to improving the functioning of MO. He would contribute to the geographical/cultural diversity of the moderating team.

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    $\begingroup$ I would like to support this nomination. YCor has been very active on Meta and has made very many insightful suggestions and ideas that helped the moderation team. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Mar 27 at 21:27
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    $\begingroup$ I support this nomination! $\endgroup$ – Vladimir Dotsenko Mar 30 at 9:27
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    $\begingroup$ I support this nomination, too! $\endgroup$ – Carl-Fredrik Nyberg Brodda Mar 31 at 21:24
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    $\begingroup$ I support this nomination, too! $\endgroup$ – Mikhail Borovoi Apr 2 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for proposing. There are a number of reasons for which I prefer not accept, which I don't wish to disclose publicly. A contributing one is the level of my English, which in routine use is not a problem but in a polemical / contradictory context would make me feel uncomfortable. I insist it's only a contributing one. $\endgroup$ – YCor Apr 7 at 14:03
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    $\begingroup$ As regards my current activity on MO as "editor", I'd feel less confident to do it acting as moderator. These are mostly minor clarifications, notation improvements, and the OP are free to revert them; it occasionally occurs. I find this generally preferable to discussions in comments starting as "I guess you assume X is non-empty" "You seem to assume that A is commutative" "you might include the co.combinatorics tag", which can stay visible for years while not useful to solving or clarifying the question. Acting as a moderator, such edits could be perceived as intimidating. $\endgroup$ – YCor Apr 7 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ Managing tags might be the exception, to which I would have felt useful to have further rights. For instance after semigroups and monoids were melted into semigroups-and-monoids, one big task was to detect all its uses as "semigroups of operators" and retag them semigroups-of-operators. I manually retagged about 100 questions, trying to limit to 3-4 per day because of bumping, which made the operation quite energy-consuming for me and noisy for MO users. (...) $\endgroup$ – YCor Apr 7 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ (...) Also some obvious synonyms (such as non-commutative-rings->non-commutative-algebras) are still pending. And some thinking is needed about organizing tags, notably theoretical computer science oriented tags. I hope new moderators will be active and will further cooperate with regular users on this matter (including being more active on chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/10243/mo-editors-lounge) $\endgroup$ – YCor Apr 7 at 14:06
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Martin Sleziak would also be a fantastic addition to the moderator team.

And so would David Speyer and Will Sawin.

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    $\begingroup$ I appreciate that you though of me, however I think that there are many reasons why I would not be suitable as a MO moderator. (I will not go into detail here, for the purpose of this thread the only relevant information is that I do not plan to run as a candidate in the election on MO.) In any case, good luck to the users who decide to throw their hats into the ring. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Mar 25 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ I also thought there were reasons I shouldn't run back in 2013, but some people changed my mind about this. I hope you'll reconsider. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Mar 25 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe split into three answers? I doubt David and Will saw this. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Mar 25 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais They saw it. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Mar 26 at 1:57
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    $\begingroup$ I agree. Martin seems to be one of the few users that are genuinely interested also in the nuts and bolts of Stack Exchange and in all the aspects of moderation, rather than in simply using the site to do math. Not all good users are also good moderators, so having this interest and skillset is a huge plus for the role. For instance, I don't think there are many other users that have more posts in meta than in main. (And I am sure Martin is already thinking about running a SEDE query to figure this out.) $\endgroup$ – Federico Poloni Mar 30 at 12:33
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    $\begingroup$ @FedericoPoloni Such query goes beyond my capabilities. (Since MO mods describe SEDE as part of what they do maybe some of them would be able to help.) As I said, I won't run for moderator on MO. (Definitely not now, and I consider that unlikely also in the future.) Since you say that you consider knowledge of Stack Exchange a good thing, that would make Glorfindel a very good candidate. (The same could be said about quid, but they're gone from MO.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Mar 31 at 10:11
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    $\begingroup$ In regards to Federico's statement - I completely agree. I also respect @MartinSleziak's choice to not run. I've seen over my time working here his gentle nudges to make incremental improvements to the UI here on MO based on his knowledge of the way SE works. I think what we can all agree is that, regardless of having a diamond or not, his knowledge and ideas are valuable contributions to this community and we hope he continues to care for the site as he has. Thanks so much for your work to keep me in the loop about MO, Martin. :) $\endgroup$ – Catija Mar 31 at 13:53
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I would like to nominate Asaf Karagila.

He has been a very active participant on MO for years. Asaf joined the site while he was a graduate student. He has since graduated but he still represents the younger MO users. I feel that his input and his experience as a moderator on Math Stackexchange would allow him to contribute in a positive and original way to the MO moderation team.

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    $\begingroup$ I am honored, and I happily accept. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 25 at 22:24
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I think Yemon Choi would be a terrific moderator. Yemon has been active on MO (Main, Tea and Meta) from the beginning. His comments on Meta are invariably thoughtful and gentle. He would be a patient moderator, who could be relied upon to defuse any tricky situation.

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    $\begingroup$ I am flattered by the compliments and the upvotes, but I fear that yet again I'll have to decline. My current professional circumstances, and the completely-wonderful-nature-of-UK-HE-if-my-employers-are-reading-this, mean that for significant chunks of the year I will not have the bandwidth necessary to deal with moderation matters -- at least not in a "thoughtful" or "patient" way. $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Mar 25 at 19:04
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed, if you want a truer indication of the mental state behind/before my MO and meta.MO comments, you can Google the phrases "in the loop" and "crossest man in Scotland" $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Mar 25 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry to hear that, I would have really liked to see you on the moderator team, but I certainly understand! $\endgroup$ – Noah Snyder Mar 25 at 19:52
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    $\begingroup$ @YemonChoi I'm sorry to hear you are declining this nomination. (Feel free to change your mind!) You have been one of our most active users for many years, especially in moderation purposes. I hope you reconsider but I definitely understand not having enough time. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Mar 25 at 23:16
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais Merci Francois. It is not so much an issue of not having enough time, as being regularly "at the end of my tether". Currently I have the option of not getting involved with disagreements between users if "je me sens trop sanguinaire"; but I don't want to make bad decisions or heated statements as a moderator $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Mar 26 at 3:42
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    $\begingroup$ @YemonChoi We have ways around that and I don't think you should be worried about this. For starters, most non-trivial situations are discussed privately by all (available) moderators before any actions are taken, so there are plenty of checks and balances... $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Mar 27 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ Addendum: having seen how things are going, I am even more glad that I decided not to throw my hat into the ring. Je n'ai aucune envie d'embarquer dans les croisades; j'ai toujours peur des certitudes sauf dans les preuves. $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Apr 6 at 4:03
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I nominate Francesco Polizzi. It's evident Francesco has contributed to MO for a very long time so I will focus instead on his character. Francesco has been extremely fair, willing to hear out all sides, tries to keep calm when things have gotten hectic, and is even-handed and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. In sum, he has good judgment.

Also, a large number of the current moderation team consists of people who were in California for graduate school or are faculty there, and so I think Francesco would add some wide-reaching geographical diversity.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree that Francesco would be a terrific addition. I would have nominated him also, but was trying to space out my own answers. $\endgroup$ – Lucia Mar 26 at 4:47
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the nomination. I am flattered and deeply honored, and I will give it a serious thought. My doubts are somehow the ones expressed in Yemon Choi's comment: I strongly feel a sense of responsibility (and apprehension, admittedly) thinking of joining the moderating team in a moment in which important issues regarding the community are widely debated (welcoming ness, inclusivity, underrepresentation of some groups, etc) and there are sometimes heated discussions and disagreements between the users. $\endgroup$ – Francesco Polizzi Mar 26 at 7:20
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    $\begingroup$ @FrancescoPolizzi: Hi Francesco, did you come to a decision on whether you'd nominate yourself? I very much hope that you do. $\endgroup$ – Lucia Apr 2 at 16:58
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    $\begingroup$ Dear @Lucia, thank you very much for your vote of confidence. I thought a lot about this, and I concluded that the best option for me is not to run as a moderator. There are several reasons, among them: (1) I currently have many academic duties, that leave me little spare time. (2) I have two small kids, so I (and my wife) feel that I should reduce the time that I spend online, not increase it. (3) Re-reading some of my recent contributions on Meta, I realized that, on a couple of occasions, I had an attitude that was perceived as a bit confrontational... $\endgroup$ – Francesco Polizzi Apr 3 at 9:11
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    $\begingroup$ ...This might be ok for a user, but a moderator is supposed to be always patient. So, I feel that I should work on this side of my personality, before considering moderation. That said, I learnt a lot on MO, and by now I consider this community as a part of my (mathematical) family. I am sure that the new moderators will provide a fantastic job. By the way, I'm always convinced that you would be a terrific candidate :-) $\endgroup$ – Francesco Polizzi Apr 3 at 9:15
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, @FrancescoPolizzi ! Of course I understand your reasons, but still --- our loss. $\endgroup$ – Lucia Apr 3 at 23:31
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I would also like to nominate theHigherGeometer, aka David Roberts.

He, too, is a longtime contributor in both Meta and the Main Site, he perfectly knows the dynamics of MO and its culture, and his opinion is highly respected by the community. He's an excellent communicator, displays great tolerance of varying points of view, and his comments are always fair, well thought out, and to the point.

All of this, together with his constant commitment to make MO more welcoming and inclusive, make him an ideal choice for the moderator team.

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    $\begingroup$ I personally support this nomination and I would nominate as well if Franscesco hadn't beat me to it! I couldn't possibly improve upon Francesco's description, which accurately describes the nominee's aptitudes and strengths for this work. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Mar 25 at 23:10
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    $\begingroup$ Well, erm, thanks? I'll have to think about this. $\endgroup$ – David Roberts Mar 26 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ The biggest issue is that in about 7 months my contract is ending and I have no further prospects for getting an academic job. This will severely curtail the time I would be able to dedicate to MO, which, given my time zone, would impact mostly when I could otherwise be most useful. $\endgroup$ – David Roberts Mar 26 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ On reflection, I think I will have to say thank you, @Francesco, for nominating me, but also that I cannot take up the suggestion now. $\endgroup$ – David Roberts Mar 26 at 22:21
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    $\begingroup$ @theHigherGeometer I want to encourage you to run anyway. It's absolutely fine for a moderator to step into a minimal activity mode, even for a very long period of time, then come back when they are ready. From my point of view, I think it would be a greater loss if you didn't run than if you ran and then slept for two years. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Mar 29 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais I appreciate your vote of confidence, but I really can't take on the rôle (I have other, more personal, reasons I don't feel I can do this). I also don't foresee "coming back when I'm ready", given where my career looks to be going. $\endgroup$ – David Roberts Mar 30 at 0:35
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I start by nominating Lucia.

They are a longtime user who made several good answers on the Main Site and provided many insightful contributions on Meta discussions. They look patient, fair, and distant from any extremism. Their friendly attitude and willingness to listen to others' opinions make them an ideal candidate for the moderation team.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, but as I mentioned in the question, I am not considering this --- it would be too difficult to fit in with my work. $\endgroup$ – Lucia Mar 25 at 14:03
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    $\begingroup$ (I am upvoting Lucia's comment and not this answer to record the fact that I think they would make a good moderator but also that I respect their desire not to be one.) $\endgroup$ – Sam Hopkins Mar 25 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ I echo @SamHopkins here $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Mar 25 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Lucia I understand but I think you would be a fantastic addition to the moderation team. If anonymity is an issue, we would be more than happy to discuss that privately. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Mar 25 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais and others: Thanks everyone. I am glad there are a few good candidates already, and hope that more will join. I did think more about this, and would still prefer to sit this out. $\endgroup$ – Lucia Apr 2 at 17:01
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I would like to nominate Gil Kalai, a long term outstanding contributor to MO in all aspects. Many times in the past Gil has argued for a kinder, gentler MO and a more open attitude to questions --- I think he would be an excellent and thoughtful moderator.

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I nominate Tim Campion.

His contributions to the site are consistently pleasant to read in my opinion, whether discussing mathematics on the main site or MO technicalities on meta.

He also seems to represent a "no-nonsense friendliness" that I think is good for the MO brand, and a difficult line to walk.

As a third point, the amount of time he seems to spend on the site is consistent with the amount required for moderation from what I've seen, and I think he would be level-headed about and up for the required additional responsibility.

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    $\begingroup$ I appreciate the kind words. I will consider this. One hang-up I have concerns some of the discussions of inclusivity we had back in the fall. I know I rubbed some people the wrong way, and I'm still reflecting on whether I should have comported myself in a more "moderate" way. Another echoes some of the reservations expressed by some of the other nominees here -- the prospect of being a moderator entails a level of responsibility which ought to be carefully weighed. And for instance, I have never really contributed very much to clearing review queues. So there are questions to mull over. $\endgroup$ – Tim Campion Mar 31 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ @TimCampion I understand your hesitation, but I think you would make a great moderator nonetheless -- I mainly threw my hat in the ring hoping more qualified people (like you) would jump in afterwards, I feel like you represent everything I would want in an MO moderator and would probably rescind my self-nomination if you jumped in. $\endgroup$ – Alec Rhea Apr 3 at 5:08
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks again. I finally did decide to submit my name for consideration. I think you're a good candidate, though, and I'd hate for you to withdraw your name on my account. $\endgroup$ – Tim Campion Apr 3 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ @TimCampion Then I’ll remain in as well, glad to see you in the running :). $\endgroup$ – Alec Rhea Apr 4 at 5:01
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Gerry Myerson has been a long time participant on MO -- main, tea, and Meta. I've seen him handle many little problems on the site with good humor. I think he'd be an excellent moderator.

This case is a bit tricky, and would need preliminary help from Gerry and the moderators. I believe Gerry is locked out of his original account, and is currently contributing via an unregistered account of the same name.

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I would like to nominate Carlo Beenakker. He is one of the most prolific contributors to the site, and his quick and excellent answers have been extremely helpful to more than one new user. I am sure that he would be a very active and helpful moderator.

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    $\begingroup$ thank you, gmvh, for these kind words, I appreciate them; concerning moderation: I'm afraid the commitment would be difficult to reconcile with my day job (and I'm also a bit unsure whether it would be appropriate to have a physicist as moderator --- I do feel welcome here and enjoy the companionship of mathematicians, but I fully realize I am somewhat of an outsider). $\endgroup$ – Carlo Beenakker Mar 30 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ I think the broadening of the disciplinary range covered by the moderation team could actually be a benefit in terms of increased diversity of expertise. $\endgroup$ – gmvh Mar 30 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ I respect Carlo's decision but I think MO could benefit heavily from having someone with a more applied leaning, including even a scientist outside of math like a physicist, on its moderating team. $\endgroup$ – Sam Hopkins Mar 30 at 15:07
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I would like to nominate Iosif Pinelis. He contributes multiple excellent answers almost every day, and I feel that he is particularly helpful to new users. By adding a probabilist to the moderator team, the moderator team would come to include a greater breadth of mathematical subdisciplines.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am not taking away from this candidate or any other, but frankly, what does the breadth of mathematical topic have to do with moderating the site? Moderators are not referees on content, and if they do, it's easy to contact someone for an expert opinion. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 31 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ It certainly helps when determining whether some borderline on-/off-topic content is research-level or not. $\endgroup$ – gmvh Mar 31 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ I'll concede that this is a valid point. Nevertheless, I still have the feeling that the field should play a very minor role compared to other qualities. In my experience, by the time a moderator sees a problematic question it tend to have gathered some feedback from experts. If Andreas Blass posted a comment on a set theory question that it's too basic for the site, you can just believe him, for example. And similarly with other experts on other fields. It's not always the case, of course, but I feel that that accounts for the majority of cases. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 31 at 12:58
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    $\begingroup$ I agree that having breadth in subject expertise is important, and in particular it seems that promoting/encouraging analysis would be good (it seems underrepresented on MO from my casual observations). $\endgroup$ – Sam Hopkins Mar 31 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you everyone very much for this nomination and the comments. I feel greatly honored by the nomination. However, I should decline it. I have learned a lot on MO and really enjoy it, and this is what I would like to continue to do. $\endgroup$ – Iosif Pinelis Mar 31 at 14:21
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What about Denis Serre? Is he already a moderator? He is quite active on MO.


After Joseph O'Rourke's answer (thank you) and he is in a different time zone than the other moderators :)

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    $\begingroup$ He's not a moderator. Here is the list: link. $\endgroup$ – Joseph O'Rourke Apr 2 at 12:06

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