8
$\begingroup$

I would like to know, whether it is in the line of MO rules to present a result and ask for "opinions" like whether it is already known or worth pursuing and, who might be interested in the result.

Currently that can only achieved if one manages to formulate another question on top of it;
e.g. asking for surface analogue of a clothoid is perfectly fine, and also communicating an answer to it. But is it also OK to post the answer to a problem that did not appear on MO?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is a somewhat related question on whether it is alright to ask question where one already knows the answer $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 27 '13 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ We often see cranks doing this. "I would like expert opinions on the following short proof of Fermat's Last Theorem". $\endgroup$ – Gerald Edgar Jul 28 '13 at 12:54
8
$\begingroup$

I did this once and got a good answer and no close votes:

Quasi-nilpotent trace class operators as limits of nilpotents

But then my user name is not of the form uservwxyz.

The question you mention hint OK to me, but my knowledge in number theory is at the undergraduate level.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ thanks a lot, your example is a big help; I will try something along that line and see forward to the responses. $\endgroup$ – Manfred Weis Jul 27 '13 at 15:28
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I think the key point is that your question asked explicitly if the result you had proved was known, and did not just say "We have proved this. We invite comments and evaluation" $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Jul 27 '13 at 18:17
8
$\begingroup$

The answer here depends a bit on the precise details of the situation. From the way you describe it, I would say it is rather not in line with guidelines to do this.

To be more specific, questions of the form:

I did "this" (posting a link to a preprint or also spelling out the details here). What do you think about it?

are in general received quite badly.

Also, questions who might be interested in the work or if it is relevant or not, or correct or not and anything that goes in the dircetion of soliciting evaluation of and advice on your work is typically best avoided.

But, to ask if a certain result is already known (like a reference request) or also to ask for recent activities in a certain field of research or connections of this field to others, this is in general fine (if there are no other problems with the question).

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ to give a concrete example of what I have in mind: I found a way to formulate integer factorization as a Linear Program and think that that could be of general interest because normally (or exclusively) integer factorization is done with number theoretic methods. What I in that case would like, is something like "that has been tried, but is not useful for practical problems" or "that's great, can you supply more details?" or "you should contact Mrs./Mr. X" $\endgroup$ – Manfred Weis Jul 27 '13 at 14:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, most questions on MO of the type of which quid says it is to be avoided are really of so poor quality that one cannot do much else than closing and deleting them. Nevertheless I am not convinced that questions asking for what some work might be relevant for, or whether people think for the one or the other reason that it might be more or less interesting should be banned in general. -- Although partly opinion-based, questions of this type are important in mathematics as well! $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Jul 27 '13 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl: yes, it always depends what one has in mind precisely (also I used qualifying words like 'in general' and 'typically'). Sometimes such things can work, but most of the time they don't. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 27 '13 at 18:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @ManfredWeis I do not want to dismis this out of hand, but to be honest the way you go about describing this does not raise my confindence this will work well. (Sure, this is only a meta-discussion and not the actual math question but still.) But of course feel free to try the question, the worst thing that can happen is it gets closed. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 27 '13 at 18:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @quid Apparently Manfred Weis has already asked that question in March: mathoverflow.net/questions/124089/… . It is still open, though -- I think understandably -- it has not yielded much feedback. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Jul 27 '13 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl: thank you for the information! I briefly looked through the questions but silehow I missed that one. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 27 '13 at 21:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .