Questions tagged [discussion]

The question you're asking is designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus.

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27 votes
2 answers
661 views

Would newly elected moderators join the board of MathOverflow Inc.?

MathOverflow is a bit different from most of the sites in the network in that it is not operated only by Stack Exchange, but it "belongs" also to the nonprofit MathOverflow corporation. If I ...
4 votes
1 answer
196 views

Should [tag:feynman-integral] be a synonym of [tag:path-integral]?

The question is in the title: I see no benefit from having these two tags for essentially the same concept (particularly as the path-integral wiki excerpt refers to the path integral formulation of ...
7 votes
0 answers
271 views

`positive-characteristic` and `characteristic-p` are synonyms

I thought that tag synonyms were meant simply to be proposed and left to survive or die on their own, but I see another question in HNQ about tag synonyms, so maybe one is supposed to raise a ...
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

What about bountying a meta question?

While I do agree in principle that anything meta should not have anything to do with reputation changes, there might still be cases when one would like to stimulate more activity with some difficult ...
7 votes
1 answer
735 views

Why do many experts on MathOverflow mention their full names on their profiles?

Sometimes I click on the users accounts on both MSE and Math Overflow sites. I noticed there are many users on MSE, prefer to be anonymous unless on the other site. and noticed there are many ...
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Reviving questions from the PROMYS application?

This elaborates on a comment I made on David Speyer's meta post. Someone posted at least one problem from this year's PROMYS application on MO--without labeling it as such, of course. One concerned ...
0 votes
0 answers
230 views

Discouraging (Some) Upvotes

I'm tagging this as "discussion", not as a feature request, because I am quite agnostic about whether it's a good idea. That said: My subjective impression is that lately a lot of very bad/...
4 votes
2 answers
191 views

Tag [upper-bounds] is nowhere to be found

At the moment, MathOverflow has tag lower-bounds (100 questions), but no tag upper-bounds. Are lower bounds that much harder to compute? Or that much more interesting? Worse, due to the non-existence ...
26 votes
4 answers
829 views

Which Latex / MathJax features do we need or want to have supported on the site?

As we've started discussing, Stack Exchange is planning to redo the editor for all questions and answers across all their sites. As articulated by Emilio Pisanty, these changes will have significant ...
6 votes
1 answer
318 views

How should [applications] be applied?

Is tag applications for applications of mathematics to mathematics itself? applications of mathematics to other fields? applications of mathematics to any field? job applications? (e.g., ...
0 votes
3 answers
743 views

Down vote without comment

I received a down vote on this question without any comment. Can one help me to understand how this question could be improved? I think that a moral and implicit policy of MO is that a comment ...
10 votes
0 answers
550 views

Rationale for reputation change on "my" reputation page that says 'User was removed'

At MathOverflow > Help center > Reputation & Moderation I see the following: [...] a user who voted for one of your posts had their account deleted (either by request or due to violating ...
23 votes
0 answers
1k views

Request to keep an eye out for PROMYS admissions problems

Many of you may be familiar with PROMYS, a camp based out of Boston University which teaches number theory to high school students each summer. Students applying to the program are asked to submit ...
16 votes
1 answer
532 views

What does the graph of MO questions-and-links look like?

Consider the graph $G$ whose vertices are MO questions and edges are links between the questions. What does $G$ look like? I'm happy to define a "link" in the same way the SE software seems ...
35 votes
6 answers
3k views

How can we attract more grad students?

To quote an answer to a recent meta.MO question: Here are some examples of people we would like the site to be welcoming to: Prominent mathematicians who are less "online" than the typical ...
24 votes
4 answers
1k views

What makes you vote to close a question?

Some recent exchanges and observations suggest to me that users not only have different thresholds for voting to close a question yet still applying the same criteria, but that they even apply so ...
9 votes
9 answers
3k views

What do we mean by welcoming when we're a site aimed at researchers?

I was just browsing the main page this morning, and I decided to look at some of the posts by new people. One of the questions had garnered three votes to close and a comment from a regular user to ...
49 votes
2 answers
1k views

Nudge: the new Stacks editor has significant implications for this site

You have probably seen already a link, on the Featured on Meta sidebar, to an announcement of an upcoming upgrade to the text editor on Stack Exchange, Opt-in alpha test for a new Stacks editor. As a ...
13 votes
2 answers
910 views

How can I avoid getting a bounty?

I've posted an incomplete answer to the question Does a left basis imply a right basis, without AC? which has a 50 point bounty that expires soon. My answer is basically an idea that I think (but I'...
9 votes
2 answers
746 views

Do we use the downvote button more than other sites?

Is there data available (besides crawling thousands of questions) on how often we use the downvote button, and how quickly? The motivation for this question is Carlo Beenakker's recent answer on MOM. ...
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is this an appropriate MathOverflow question: can I ask for some intuition and "excitement" behind the Dynamical Mordell-Lang conjecture?

I am a math undergraduate at my local university, and I have decided to make it a habit to attend the weekly seminars that are given by the faculty. Today, the talk was on the Dynamic Mordell-Lang ...
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it appropriate to ask why a textbook on nonlinear algebra not well known?

I am wondering if it would be worthwhile to ask why a certain textbook and/or its authors (Dolotin and Morozov) are not well known. From the description of the book: This unique text presents the ...
7 votes
0 answers
308 views

2020: a year in moderation

As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the past 12 months. As most of you here are aware, sites on the Stack Exchange network ...
5 votes
1 answer
252 views

Should MathOverflow request suggested tags feature?

There is a feature of showing suggested tags after the body of a question is included. These suggestions are based on the body of the question. More details can be found in these posts: Automatically ...
15 votes
3 answers
892 views

Scope and mission of MathOverflow

I followed with much interest the recent discussions on Meta about the community being perceived as unwelcoming to outsiders and the importance of looking for solutions (if any). In order to do this, ...
16 votes
5 answers
2k views

MathOverflow policymaking and transparency

There goeth rumours abroad that some off-site groups are seeking a private forum together with the moderators here in order to make policy for MO. I hope that the moderators will commit to ...
-8 votes
1 answer
516 views

A radical proposal on votes and reputation

I was trying to explain the current controversy how “welcoming” MO is to a non-mathematician friend. The current best hypothesis for why MO is either attractive or repellent in general is that it has ...
27 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are our procedures if a user complains about harassment or abuse?

Context for this question: I am writing an article on MathOverflow for the Notices of the AMS. One thing I try to address is the apparent gender skew of our website. One of the readers of my draft ...
5 votes
1 answer
293 views

Once a thread is deleted, is it really too late to bring it back?

I was under the impression that "deleted" threads were still visible by moderators or other high-level members of the community. Is this correct? If a post was deleted that shouldn't have ...
0 votes
2 answers
249 views

A question of notation: what does $x\lt y\in S$ mean? [closed]

I've seen expressions like $x\lt y\in S$ used on this site to mean "$x\lt y$ and $x\in S$ and $y\in S$." This has me worried because I sometimes use $x\lt y\in S$ to abbreviate "$x\lt y$...
1 vote
0 answers
91 views

Appropriateness and cross-posting

I am interested in this question on math.stackexchange. To me it is interesting because while it looks "obvious" that there isn't a solution with 6 turns (I have some very partial results ...
12 votes
1 answer
286 views

Should we have a tag for second-order logic?

There are a number of questions on this site about second-order logic (admittedly I may have asked a few more of them than is reasonable). For example, searching "second-order logic" (in ...
9 votes
5 answers
283 views

Is it possible to temporarily comment out part of a post?

Scenario (true story): after posting something I became doubtful about certain claim there, so I want to hide it until I clarify my doubts. Of course I could just move that part to a temporary file, ...
0 votes
0 answers
79 views

Can I ask for advice or opinions about the choice of a variant of a theory?

Basically, I have 2 versions of a theory. This is like having two competing theories of complex numbers, one where $i^2=-1$ and the other where $j^2=1$ (hyperbolic numbers) or extending reals with $+\...
11 votes
0 answers
390 views

Utility of Mathematics: Is this question appropriate here, and if not/if so, how can I phrase it better?

I would like to know if this question is appropriate for Math Overflow, and if so, how I can phrase it better to get the best results. Question: I recently spoke with a very nice mathematician who ...
4 votes
0 answers
349 views

Question on topic for Mathoverflow?

My question, asked months ago, was well received. Now... I'm wondering if this question is on-topic for MathOverflow: Consider a semi-Riemannian manifold $\zeta^{2,2}$ with metric, $g=\frac{dxdy}{xy}+...
1 vote
1 answer
256 views

Questions seemingly/apparently/ostensibly too elementary for overlfow

Well I don't really get notifications of flag responses sooo... Nov 6 at 14:01 helpful - I suggest you take this up in meta; there is not enough space to answer here. But there are a number of ...
1 vote
0 answers
66 views

Why is the ‘mathematical logic’ tag spelt [lo.logic]? [duplicate]

On MathOverflow, questions about mathematical logic bear the tag lo.logic, which has a synonym of logic. Where did this lo.logic spelling come from? Why is it not ...
13 votes
0 answers
814 views

Vandalism edits by apparently-anonymous users

There is an answer to an old community wiki question that was edited about 45 mins ago to make it sexually explicit, with a second attempted edit pending approval to make it even more so. I rejected ...
23 votes
4 answers
2k views

Are professional Physicists, Computer Scientists, Engineers, Economists... not allowed to ask questions at MO?

"MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians." May other professional researchers ask questions at MO? Should they check their credentials at the door? If not, and ...
-1 votes
1 answer
113 views

Site for reviewing articles, formulas, theorems, etc?

This question might be weird, I wouldn't feel bad if it is closed. I know that MathOverflow is for mathematicians and math StackExchange for people studying math at any level. But questions like "...
14 votes
2 answers
517 views

Is there left any way to highlight part of text after all?

Currently we have quotes, but the quoted text looks more faint than the surrounding text The vertical bar hardly helps, I believe. In fact I think (although I cannot explain it) that this bar ...
0 votes
0 answers
529 views

Why did my profile picture disappear?

I discovered few days ago that my profile picture is gone, had to reupload it. Did anybody else encounter this? Do you know the reason?
-1 votes
1 answer
261 views

Are new users with inappropriate questions given help or rudely dismissed?

I often see questions like this: co.combinatorics - Given index $i$, what element is at position $i$ in sorted subsets that are obviously better suited for the Math.SE site. This particular question ...
10 votes
0 answers
545 views

Bounty awarded to an immediately deleted answer

Something peculiar has just happened. A week ago a 300 point bounty has been added to this question (I think its content is hardly relevant to this meta question) [note: the bounty was added by a user ...
0 votes
0 answers
187 views

I want to answer a closed question

Please reopen this question: A problem of an infinite number of balls and an urn I have a nice answer. (Added (DR): now re-opened. Please note there are ten deleted nonsense answers, which I imagine ...
-2 votes
2 answers
152 views

Should "does anyone access this paper" questions be community-wiki?

Should questions consisting in barely asking for a copy or link to some given paper be community-wiki? A recent example, among others, is and Reference of J.L. Waldspurger's paper on Shimura ...
10 votes
0 answers
310 views

What should you do if you find old duplicates?

Sometimes I discover that "old" MO questions are duplicates of even older MO questions. Two examples: Embarrassingly, I found out that my own question: Formula for number of permutations ...
16 votes
5 answers
1k views

Do we have an unofficial quota on how many old questions one should bump for minor edits in a single day?

I noticed tonight that a well-intentioned user has been doing a lot of minor edits of formatting of old questions with the effect of filling most of the active question list with old questions bumped ...
43 votes
4 answers
2k views

MO "memorial" questions

In the past, when a famous mathematician passes away, many community members feel that they should be remembered on MathOverflow in some way or another. For obvious reasons, such memorials need to be ...

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