What is history of this site? When and by whom was it created?

What were the important milestones of this site?

History of MathOverflow


September 28, 2009: MathOverflow goes online

October 10, 2009: MathOverflow is announced at the Secret Blogging Seminar

December 2009 Greg Kuperberg became the first user to reach 10k reputation

June 2010: featured in the AMS Notices.

October 2010: 10000 users

June 2012: 100000 posts

June 24, 2013: MathOverflow joined SE network

September 17, 2014: Joel David Hamkins becomes the first user to reach 100k reputation.


September 2009 - October 2009: Anton Geraschenko, David Zureick-Brown, Daniel Erman and Scott Morrison

October 2009 - June 2010: Anton Geraschenko, Ben Webster, David Zureick-Brown, Daniel Erman and Scott Morrison

June 2010 - October 2013: Anton Geraschenko, Ben Webster, David Zureick-Brown, François G. Dorais, S. Carnahan and Scott Morrison

October 2013 - present: Ben Webster, David Zureick-Brown, François G. Dorais, S. Carnahan, Scott Morrison, Mariano Suárez-Alvarez and Todd Trimble

  • 1
    That SBS comment thread brings back some happy highways where I went... – Yemon Choi Aug 31 '13 at 18:58
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    It might be good to list birthday statistics, as well as those events that were considered major policy changes, e.g. when the content was being steered away from soft questions and those that are considered by some to be not research level questions. – The Masked Avenger Aug 31 '13 at 20:45
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    I'd also like to know more about the statistics. Am I right in my sense that MathOverflow has seen a significant drop in usage? – Jess Riedel Sep 27 '13 at 14:38
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    @JessRiedel it depends what you have in mind precisely; see for example meta.mathoverflow.net/a/853 for some data compiled by François G. Dorais and me. I would say there is no somewhat recent significant drop, but in the long run the overall activity declined a bit (why and if or in what sense this is/could be a problem is a bit too broad for this comment). – user9072 Oct 22 '13 at 16:18
  • I have added the moderators from the beginning of MO according to information mentioned here. Although I am not sure when Daniel Erman stopped being moderator. And perhaps before the migration Anton Geraschenko should be listed as an administrator, not a moderator. (I hope some old-timers will correct this information, if needed.) – Martin Sleziak Oct 23 '13 at 19:07
  • I have also added the things that were mentioned here. – Martin Sleziak Dec 14 '13 at 7:59
  • @MartinSleziak: on June 24, 2013: MathOverflow joined SE2 network. – Mahdi Oct 13 at 19:13

On January 30, 2014, Joel David Hamkins posted his 1000th answer on MathOverflow. Congratulations!

User Page

  • 5
    Wow! Congratulations! – Bill Johnson Jan 30 '14 at 21:24
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    Thanks, François, you are very kind to mention it. It's surely been a lot of fun! And I've learned a lot. – Joel David Hamkins Jan 30 '14 at 23:08
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    Not to put you under undue pressure @JoelDavidHamkins but we expect the 100k points celebration somewhat soonish now. :-) Congratulations! – user9072 Jan 30 '14 at 23:22
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    @quid, I shall look forward to that party. (But it is not actually in my control!) – Joel David Hamkins Jan 31 '14 at 13:41
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    Well, one upvote to each of those answers = 10k rep :-) (I'm not saying to do it, the mods have superpowers and can tell...) – David Roberts Feb 11 '14 at 23:15
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    And now, Igor Rivin just reached his 999th answer! – Gil Kalai May 15 '14 at 10:50
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    @Gil: Here is Igor's 1000th: mathoverflow.net/a/167358 – François G. Dorais May 17 '14 at 1:33

On September 17th, 2014, Joel David Hamkins became the first user on MathOverflow with more than 100000 points. Congratulations!

User profile

(It seems the "deciding" vote was cast on https://mathoverflow.net/a/172711/.)

  • Maybe also the link to this weeks reputation league can be added. (Although it will probably need until tomorrow to update.) – Martin Sleziak Sep 17 '14 at 11:02
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    Thanks, quid, how kind of you to notice it. It's surely been a lot of fun! – Joel David Hamkins Sep 17 '14 at 12:02
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    Congratulations, Joel. – Joël Sep 17 '14 at 12:50
  • My pleasure, @JoelDavidHamkins! – user9072 Sep 17 '14 at 14:51
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    Thanks for adding the image @Todd – user9072 Sep 17 '14 at 14:52
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    JDH writes some personal reflections here: jdh.hamkins.org/… – David Roberts Sep 19 '14 at 0:05

The historical first MO golden badge was awarded to Charles Siegel for this answer.

enter image description here

Update: Here is a historical snapshot (click for a better resolution) of top participators shortly after Charles earned his golden medal. This was shortly after Greg's sprint to (questionless) 10K reputations record. Note also that Andrew ranked 7th at the time has only bronze badges, and that Reid Barton has precisely 6666 points.

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    If you want to collect such stories, maybe add the heroic but in the end hopeles fight of Andrew Stacey against the badeges tea.mathoverflow.net/discussion/190/how-do-i-sell-a-badge and tea.mathoverflow.net/discussion/1364/a-sad-day- – user9072 Oct 16 '13 at 20:02
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    Dear Quid, yes this is indeed a famous story that will be told from fathers to sons. I am afraid I was involved with Andrew's silver and gold best badges. The badge system is a wonderful way for multi-dimensional appreciation systems where every user can even define his own peculiar aims. – Gil Kalai Oct 16 '13 at 20:31
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    Tom Leinster recently got the first gold badge on meta for meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/1042/… – user9072 Nov 6 '13 at 22:14
  • BTW since MO joined SE you can also view top users at some moment in the past using reputation leagues. For example, here are top users from Dec 2009. Comparing with the snapshot you posted, it seems to be around the same time. (Although this shows the reputation from Dec 2009, but badges are shown from the present.) – Martin Sleziak May 15 '14 at 6:18
  • @MartinSleziak Wow, I had not realized that Greg had gained 7000 points in one month. – S. Carnahan May 17 '14 at 6:29
  • @S.Carnahan Well, there might have been some mix-up when moving from old MO to the SE network, which would make date from reputation leagues unreliable. But since the numbers there seem to be rather similar to the numbers in the screenshot, I'd guess that they are probably correct. – Martin Sleziak May 17 '14 at 6:51

Jim Belk performing perfectly centered breaks at the request of user2376055 drew a huge crowd of spectators.

Now, on February 11, 2014 the count reached 100,000, and this in only slightly over 10 days, making this not only the currently most viewed question on MO, but the first question to reach 100,000 views in MO's history.

Fun side-aspect: the success of the question was so massive that some even expressed doubt this is happening for real.

In the unlikely event you have not yet seen it, here it is once again, the perfectly centered break according to Jim Belk.

Perfectly center break as animated gif

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    Is there a way to sort questions by number of views? – Gerald Edgar Feb 11 '14 at 18:24
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    @GeraldEdgar no, but yes. By which I mean there is no way via tabs and the standard userinterface, but one can get such lists via the data explorer. See for example data.stackexchange.com/mathoverflow/query/166766/most-views for a list of all questions sorted by views (with at least 5000 views). If one just cares about those with relatively many one could also look for those with famous question badge, that is +10k. – user9072 Feb 11 '14 at 20:38
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    GeraldEdgar: This seems also related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/3538/… The link mentioned there is: mathoverflow.net/questions/greatest-hits I am not sure about exact algorithm, but this page seems to combine somehow score and number of views. – Martin Sleziak Feb 12 '14 at 16:51
  • As a side-note, a question on math.SE recently (to date) got 126380 views in 11 days. This says maybe this phenomenon isn't going to be as surprising in the near future :) Hopefully it sparks some STEM careers. – rschwieb Apr 11 '14 at 18:48

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