# 2013 Moderator Nominations [closed]

The purpose of this thread was to allow users to nominate others. The nomination period is now over and the thread is closed. The list of candidates can be found on the election page.

Since the Stack Exchange election model doesn't match the process that MathOverflow had previously used for moderator elections, this thread is for community members to nominate others as candidates for the election as we have done for the previous election.

To nominate someone, post an answer with their names and a link to their user profile. Also, add a short blurb to encourage the user to accept the nomination. (This will also prevent your answer from being automatically turned into a comment.)

If you are nominated and you wish to accept the nomination, follow the link at the bottom of the election page to register as a candidate (a.k.a. "nominate yourself") before October 7th at 20:00:00Z UTC (or 4:00 pm EDT). If you wish to decline the nomination, you are encouraged to leave a comment indicating that.

Note: Please use this other thread if you wish to discuss the election process itself.

• Note that the best way to accept a nomination is to head over to the election page and nominate yourself. Feel free to link to the nomination here when you write your proper nomination on the main site. You aren't technically eligible for the position until you have nominated there. Oct 1 '13 at 13:28
• Since this is all CW, it might make more sense that if a nomination is declined that answer is edited to clearly indicate this. (E.g., striking out the name in the nomination, or perhaps block-quote text (> block-quote) indicating this.) Also, if a nomination is accepted, adding a link to that user's blurb on the election page might also be helpful. Oct 1 '13 at 16:21
• Hmm, I'm a bit worried this is going to turn into a "pre-vote", somewhat spoiling the system. Perhaps we can all just try to "manipulate" the scores on these posts back to zero? Oct 1 '13 at 20:26
• Per Scott's suggestion, I will downvote each answer (but not the "question").
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 1 '13 at 22:54
• What's wrong with having it turn into a pre-vote? Perhaps people will be more likely to accept a nomination if it's accompanied by a lot of up votes. I don't have a strong opinion about this, but it seems worthwhile to have a way to express enthusiasm for a nomination. Oct 1 '13 at 23:15
• (On the other hand, it's better not to have voting on nominations than to have a mixture of attempts at voting and unvoting, so at this point settling on not voting may be best. Mainly I'm just curious what the objection to voting on nominations is, since to me it seems like a mildly useful straw poll.) Oct 2 '13 at 0:42
• Would clarifying that voting is merely "seconding a motion" help? (That was my original thought but it is very confusing. And I now believe it was an error on my part.) Oct 2 '13 at 0:45
• @Henry, the votes are not cast at the same time and influence each other. It also might have negative effect on honest expression of opinion about candidates and causing people to try to vote strategically (i.e. vote depending on other people's votes). And since the votes cannot be changed without an edit the time that one casts votes becomes even more important. Oct 2 '13 at 19:13
• I know it's very late to bring this up, but the time frame for the whole nomination process seems very short. I know SE have their way of doing things, but MO is populated by people who are accustomed to operating at the slower pace of academia. Oct 6 '13 at 18:32
• @MarkMeckes: I think the time frame for the election here is quite o.k.. Apart from this, I think the pace in academia is often slow where it would better be faster, and pretty fast where it would better be a bit slower -- if you understand what I mean.
– Stefan Kohl Mod
Oct 7 '13 at 15:42
• Nominations are closed as of now. Oct 7 '13 at 20:04
• Moderator nominations on hold. :) Oct 8 '13 at 19:43

I think Todd Trimble would be a great moderator, and thus I nominate him.

Around and highly active since a long time on main, he was and is also one of the regulars on meta, and contributed to many discussion on appropriateness of questions and general policy (on meta new and old). In my opinion, his opinions are well thought out and somehow middle of the road in the general spectrum of opinions, which seems like a good thing for a moderator.

He does not shy away from complicated subjects and started several discussions on matters that needed discussion. In these discussion he seems always willing to listen to others' opinions and is also convincable by others' arguments.

Also, he seems always patient, friendly, and welcoming, not only to regulars but as a general principle.

Edit: Thank you, quid. I accept this nomination -- Todd Trimble.

• If he decides to run, and wins, I hope his moderation will be categorical! instant rimshot
– Asaf Karagila Mod
Oct 4 '13 at 7:58
• No, Asaf, it should be in a higher category! :-)
– user9072
Oct 4 '13 at 11:21
• @quid (et al): Thank you for your very kind words, and for the show of support. However, I can think of a variety of reasons why I do not consider myself a good fit for the position, and so with some regret I feel I'd better decline. (I hope we can get someone who will accept!)
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 4 '13 at 13:09
• @Todd: "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown [read: diamond]", I suppose. :-)
– Asaf Karagila Mod
Oct 4 '13 at 14:15
• @ToddTrimble thank you for the reply, though I had so hoped for a different one :-(
– user9072
Oct 4 '13 at 14:21
• @AsafKaragila It's not primarily that. The overriding consideration is that I'm not actually employed as a professional academic mathematician (although I might play one on the internet, and I'm a PhD). I therefore do not consider myself qualified to moderate working professionals, and frankly I consider myself naive about many things which would be absolutely relevant here. Please consider however upvoting my nomination of David Speyer (and I hope he's open to the idea).
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 4 '13 at 14:43
• @Todd: I did that last part already! And to the other point, I don't know if one has to be a professional mathematician in order to moderate this website. But okay.
– Asaf Karagila Mod
Oct 4 '13 at 14:45
• @ToddTrimble I do not want to be insistent but this is a "bad" reason in my opinion. I even considered to mention this as a positive point in my nomination. And, I always felt you were very qualified to moderate me.
– user9072
Oct 4 '13 at 15:19
• I concur with quid. I will respect your choice, but not your reason. I imagine you and Qiaochu would be fine additions to the moderator team. Oct 4 '13 at 17:29
• Todd, as someone who's known you for much longer than most people on MO, I think you'd make a great moderator, and I don't accept for a moment that you're not qualified to do it. There are lots of reasonable reasons for you not to want to do it, but I don't buy the one you mention! Oct 5 '13 at 17:03
• This comment is just here so that @ToddTrimble does not miss the preceding comment by Tom Leinster (sorry for the noise in case this was not necessary).
– user9072
Oct 5 '13 at 18:28
• I hear you guys... have responded privately to Tom. Maybe more later.
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 5 '13 at 21:06
• @quid (and others): after talking with some others and thinking about it some more, I have gone ahead and put myself down as a nominee. Thanks once again.
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 7 '13 at 0:14
• @ToddTrimble Thank you. This is great news! :-)
– user9072
Oct 7 '13 at 10:23

I would like to nominate Joel David Hamkins as moderator. Of course we know him as our top-rated user, but he is also remarkably cordial and even-handed in every debate, from the inception of MO right up to these very moderator-election threads. That he is highly logical goes without saying, given his expertise. :-) But he also exhibits diplomacy, evincing respect in discussions with every user, from the famous to the anonymous. The community would be fortunate indeed if he could carve out the slivers of time needed for this service.

• The parenthetical seems incorrect (not that this is relevant in any way).
– user9072
Oct 4 '13 at 11:07
• Ah, I read down the user-rep column rather than across the row! Parenthetical remark now removed. Thanks, quid! Oct 4 '13 at 11:15
• Your nomination is truly very kind; thank you. If I were able to borrow a copy of myself from another universe, then I would surely do this, and perhaps I would like to be moderator at some point in the future. But for now, I regret that I must decline. Oct 4 '13 at 12:14

Let me nominate Derek Holt (https://mathoverflow.net/users/35840/derek-holt), a long-term contributor of high-quality answers on this site.

Being more senior than the present moderators and living in Europe, I think he would excellently complement the moderator team.

• Does Derek know he is nominated? I am not sure how regularly he reads meta. Oct 2 '13 at 13:51
• @Benjamin: I have e-mailed him, just in case.
– Stefan Kohl Mod
Oct 2 '13 at 20:07
• Thanks Stefan but I've decided not to accept the nomination on this occasion. perhaps next time! Oct 7 '13 at 7:54
• @Derek: That's a real pity -- I think you would have been an excellent moderator!
– Stefan Kohl Mod
Oct 7 '13 at 9:06

I nominate Noah Snyder, whom I think would be an excellent moderator. He has written numerous very good answers, and his ratio of answers to questions is impressive. In addition, his suggestions on meta are consistently well thought out and sensible.

• Thanks for the nomination! I think I'm going to decline. First, I'm feeling overbooked this year. Second, I feel like MO has grown to the point where new moderators shouldn't be grad school officemates of the other moderators. Oct 3 '13 at 14:30
• I wonder if (presumably excepting François) the other moderators are actually all in the same connected component of the "have-shared-an-office" graph. Scott C and I shared an office, but I don't remember enough of the rest of the Berkeley graph for last decade to guess an answer. It's possible that stratification by years was a strong enough effect to break this. Oct 3 '13 at 23:42
• @ScottMorrison: You, me, and Ben shared a balcony office in 05, right? Oct 4 '13 at 2:08
• Oh dear, my memory is going faster than I feared. I shared an office with Joel, Soroosh, and Sami at various times; do any of those get us to Anton and David? (Apologies this is wildly off-topic...) Oct 4 '13 at 2:28
• @ScottMorrison: Too bad you can't use marriages as edges. Kate and Anton were officemates, right? Oct 4 '13 at 3:26
• I'd want my edges clearly labelled, on that graph. :-) Oct 4 '13 at 4:42

I would like to nominate Pete L. Clark. He gives very thoughtful (and fairminded) answers to many questions.

• Thank you. However, I'm not interested in moderating at this time. Oct 3 '13 at 7:01
• While I do agree that @Pete would make a good moderator; the reason you give is absolutely wrong for nominating someone for a moderator. Moderators don't have to be top notch mathematicians or even top notch answerers. They deal with other sides of the site.
– Asaf Karagila Mod
Oct 4 '13 at 6:42

I would like to nominate David Speyer for moderator.

His record as a user of MathOverflow speaks for itself: not only is he a strong professional mathematician, he is also thoroughly familiar with the operation of this site since Day One. I have found his views as expressed both on MathOverflow and on meta (here and at 'tea') consistently well thought out and reasonable. He is tolerant of varying points of view, and commands total respect from the community. I think he'd be a terrific moderator.

• Thank you very much, and I gave it some serious thought, but I'm going to turn this down. I suspect I'll say yes one of these days, but I am at a point where I simply need to say no to every commitment which I am not burningly eager to take on. Oct 5 '13 at 2:48

I nominate Qiaochu Yuan. I hope he would find moderating here more pleasant than MSE. https://mathoverflow.net/users/290/qiaochu-yuan

• Is Qiaochu aware that he has been nominated? (Paging @QiaochuYuan ...)
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 4 '13 at 20:19
• @ToddTrimble comment notifications cannot be used to contact users other than users already active in the comment thread and users that edited (or wrote) the post (and moderators that closed a question). I cannot possibly know if he is aware of this, but in view of the fact that this was the very first nominatation and he was somewhat active on the site since it was posted I would be rather surprised if he were not.
– user9072
Oct 4 '13 at 21:32
• Thank you for the nomination! Actually I wasn't aware of it until now (I have been studiously avoiding meta). I'm afraid I should respectfully decline, though; I'd like to focus on graduate school for the time being. I also feel like I made mistakes as a math.SE moderator that I would not like to see repeated here. Oct 6 '13 at 19:46

I'd like to nominate Ryan Budney. Ryan is a long-time high quality user, whose answers are always informative and interesting, and who has been active on meta. He is fair and level-headed, and doesn't shy away from making hard decisions.

• I'll give it some thought. I suppose this year is better than any for me. Thanks for the nomination. Oct 4 '13 at 7:21
• @Ryan, You may need to go through the formality of placing an answer on the election page soon if you intend to accept. Oct 5 '13 at 18:02

I believe Timothy Chow would make an excellent moderator. He's an excellent communicator with a broad knowledge of several areas of mathematics and a clearly demonstrated ability to follow discussions in several more. His comments always seem particularly well considered and to the point.

Although it's late in the game, I'd be very glad to see any of Tom Leinster, Greg Kuperberg or Douglas Zare on this list.

• Thanks, Steven, that's very kind. But I'm afraid I'm not regular enough in my habits for this to be a good idea. Oct 7 '13 at 2:58

I would like to nominate Andy Putman as a moderator, because I think Andy is all too cheery and should have more administrative responsibilities.

He'd also likely do a fine job.

• Thank you very much for the nomination. I'm not categorically opposed to being a moderator, but I do have a lot of other things going on right now (eg I have 3 PhD students, I'm running a summer program for high school students, I have co-authors breathing down my neck to finish writing our papers, etc). Since there are now a decent number of other reasonable candidates, I am going to decline the nomination this time. Oct 7 '13 at 2:44

I would like to nominate Joseph O'Rourke as a moderator. Aside from the likely outcome of MO having much-improved graphics :), I think he's a widely-appreciated contributor to the forum and would ??hopefully?? enjoy a stint as a moderator.

• Thank you, Ryan! I think I would enjoy it, eventually. But right now I am a fulltime Dean, which means (as you know) that I am much wiser than mere professors, but I have no time to exercise this wisdom in MO. Perhaps when I return to the faculty... Meanwhile, I'll try to maintain the graphics standards. :-) Oct 4 '13 at 11:24

I want to nominate Ricardo Andrade! Although he is a relatively new member, he has worked tirelessly to clean up questions and tags, provided some wonderful answers, and also participated actively via comments and on meta.

Ricardo, please accept! You are doing all the work anyway :)

• I don't feel like I could vote for someone with that message in his profile. You can't just write that you do not accept the terms of service and keep using the site (that's not how it works), and if you feel you can, then your mindset might not be the right one to be a moderator. Oct 2 '13 at 8:46
• @TobiasKildetoft I would not dismis a candidate just so because of this. Also, there was some discussion related to such things pre-migration on the old meta so the "just write" might not be quite correct. I do not want to elaborate and interpret here, but possibly Ricardo Andrade will say something himself. Also, that it is documented in such openess and detail to me is rather a good sign.// Vidit Nanda: great nomination, I hope the candidate accepts.
– user9072
Oct 2 '13 at 20:09
• @quid I hope he accepts as well, and I hope that you will also reconisder your own decision to decline. Although I was initially opposed to your purist style when I first joined the site, over time I feel more and more like you would be a good choice for moderator. Oct 2 '13 at 22:02
• Dear @Vidit: I am surprised and deeply honoured by this nomination and its supporting upvotes. Honestly, I am quite happy to perform a few simple tasks on MathOverflow on the side. Further, I had never even considered the possibility of becoming a moderator, which feels like a very large responsibility. All I can say for now is that I will seriously consider your kind proposal. Oct 2 '13 at 22:44
• Dear @Tobias and others: I usually shy away from the spotlight, so I try to not make a big deal in public out of the issue with the copyright sections of the stackexchange terms of service. However, I will openly discuss copyright issues when people wish to do so. In particular, I readily admit my opposition to the StackExchange policy of keeping the copyright of all the content in its network. Briefly, that is why I do not consent to transferring the copyright of my questions and answers on MathOverflow to the stack exchange network, as is stated on my profile page. (to be continued) Oct 2 '13 at 23:02
• (continued) For clarity, I should probably state here that I release my questions and answers on Mathoverflow under a creative commons CC0 license (also stated on my profile). Finally, @Tobias, I agree with you that my statements regarding copyright defy the terms of service of the Stack Exchange network. That may very well mean that I am not allowed to become a moderator, or perhaps even to use the MathOverflow site. I am more than happy to discuss these and related issues at length. I will do my best to respond to any questions or requests for clarification. Oct 2 '13 at 23:11
• Section 2 excludes Subscriber Content, which I believe covers things posted by users. The licensing in Section 3 does not involve giving up copyright, but rather just allowing use under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. Oct 2 '13 at 23:23
• See the discussion at tea.mathoverflow.net/discussion/1597/…, as well as meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/6290/…. Oct 2 '13 at 23:27
• @Ricardo: This has been confirmed multiple times: users retain copyright of all their posts (questions, answers and comments). In particular, the last part of your user page comment is 100% legal. As the copyright owner, you can issue a waiver and release your content to anyone under any license you want, including making your content public domain. (However, such a waiver does not in any way nullify the default site license.) Oct 2 '13 at 23:42
• Dear @François: Thank you for the clarification. Can you please clarify your last statement "However, such a waiver does not in any way nullify the default site license."? /// I interpreted the terms of service incorrectly, and I humbly apologize for my mistake. I have corrected my profile page. Oct 2 '13 at 23:51
• @ViditNanda Thanks. For this election my decision is very firm. (Also, for the two slots, I already made one nomination and endorsed this nomination, so in my mind all is set anyway :-)). But if there should be another election in the future and if then somebody still thinks it is a good idea, I will think it over then.
– user9072
Oct 3 '13 at 9:26
• Dear @Vidit, quid, and others: I seriously considered running in this election, but in the end I decided against it. I am very busy right now, and I cannot be sure I would manage to honour my duties for the election or, were I to be elected, as a moderator. In any case, I will certainly try to continue performing my usual tasks on MathOverflow when I can. Thank you very much for your endorsement. I can sincerely say it means a lot to me. Oct 6 '13 at 14:46

I nominate quid: https://mathoverflow.net/users/9072/quid

IMHO, among all smart people here he has shown most tact, common sense, and respect to others in meta-discussions, despite he can be quite firm when needed. All those qualities will make him an excellent moderator and I only hope he'll not reject the position.

[nomination declined in comment]

• I agree that quid is thoughtful (most of the time), but I also have found him (him?) at times to be unnecessarily argumentative. But overall I think he (he?) might be a decent choice for moderator -- if he were also to lose the pseudonym.
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 1 '13 at 17:24
• For several reasons, I'm against the election of anonymous users. Like Todd Trimble, I think that quid can be a good moderator, but he/she should agree to lose his/her pseudonym first. Oct 1 '13 at 17:45
• Honestly, I have to admit that I cannot see why it is a problem if a moderator is pseudonym. Oct 1 '13 at 19:07
• @András Bátkai: I choose to use MathOverflow under my real name. Of course, I have no objections if some other ordinary user prefers to use a pseudonym. However, moderators are very special users with very special powers. They are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community. So, personally, I would prefer to know who they are. Oct 1 '13 at 21:24
• @AndrásBátkai The basic problem as I see it would be lack of transparency; making executive-level decisions while hiding behind a pseudonym is sure to be off-putting to many (maybe not you). ("Who is this guy 'quid', anyway, to delete my question?") Anyway, all this is moot unless quid were to actually accept a nomination.
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 1 '13 at 21:24
• I guess the other side of the coin is that without anonymity, only extremely senior mathematicians can effectively moderate other seniors without having to fear for a negative impact on their career. Oct 1 '13 at 21:53
• @MichaelGreinecker, interestingly, we have had a handful of instances where we needed to directly 'moderate' a mathematician more senior than any of ourselves. It was a little scary at first, but seems to have worked fine. I guess, of course, if someone out there has been trying to sabotage our job applications we'd not know... Oct 2 '13 at 0:19
• Oh my, not this real name vs. pseudonym discussion again! @Todd Trimble The answer to "Who is this guy ... to delete my question?" is always "An MO moderator" or "a high reputation user" regardless of whether ... is replaced by a user name or by a real name. The reason Scott Morrison can block accounts is not that he is 34, lists Berkeley, CA as his location and has curly hair, but that he is on the current mod team and that he is well respected on MO. If he were called John Brown, lived in Alabama, and was bald, but made the same posts and actions, would there be any difference for you? Oct 2 '13 at 1:18
• @fedja That thing I put in quotes was just supposed to illustrate what some person might think, not necessarily what I would think. But I do think that having people operate under their real names, with their public selves on the line, generally helps moderate against the possibility of their abusing power in some way, or just generally being jerks. (This person 'quid' isn't a jerk IMO, but people have indeed gotten annoyed with things s/he has said behind a veil of secrecy.) It's a public perception thing: I think it would go down much more smoothly if moderators were publicly identifiable.
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 2 '13 at 2:24
• @fedja: "Oh my, not this real name vs. pseudonym discussion again!". And why not? We never discussed this regarding moderators, and since we are making nominations I think it is completely natural to come back to the issue. I belong to a community where I operate under my real name, so I would prefer that the community is "ruled" by someone who does the same. It is not only a matter of blocking accounts, deleting questions or abusing power, for me it is really about transparency and democracy [to be continued] Oct 2 '13 at 7:03
• And yes, I want to know who is the person whom I according the highest level of privilege in MO. And no, I am not satisfied just knowing that he/she is a "user with high reputation", even because I personally do not care very much about reputation. Of course this is just my personal opinion. Anyway, I think that many people in the community share the same thoughts and are perplexed about electing anonymous users as moderators. Oct 2 '13 at 7:10
• Bein anonymous has some advantages as a moderator, as you have to occasionally deal with unreasonable or even crazy people. There have been cases of death threats against mods, users calling moderators on their private phone and similar stuff on other SE sites. Not having to consider real-life consequences when dealing with crazy people is a significant advantage (I moderate Skeptics.SE, and obviously don't use my real name).
– user35354
Oct 2 '13 at 9:51
• Thank you for the nomination, which I appreciate. There are various reasons why in general I would very likely not accept it. The names isssue came already up, I do understand this to some extent and in any case know it would be a major issue for some. Also @ToddTrimble has a point that perhaps I like discussing too much for being a moderator (though I think I could control it if needed). And, at the moment being quite a bad time for me to take on additional responsibilities, I really do not want to accept it. But thanks again for the positive feedback this nomination gives.
– user9072
Oct 2 '13 at 11:00
• Well, I'd like to thank @quid for responding, and glad he or she was understanding of what transpired in this discussion. Although I think the discussion was necessary to some degree, it can't be very comfortable to be a subject of frank public discussion, and I'm very glad quid seems to have taken it well within stride -- I appreciate it.
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 2 '13 at 13:39
• @Francesco Polizzi "And yes, I want to know who is the person whom I according the highest level of privilege in MO." But do you? Take any current mod. How much do you really know about them beyond the trivial public data most of which is totally irrelevant to math. communication, moderation, or any other interaction you may have with them online? Anyway, once quid rejected (regretfully), the nomination is certainly off. So, perhaps, this discussion will be irrelevant for a while... Oct 2 '13 at 15:16