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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Using Math Overflow to check whether or not a proof is correct

A user named Jürgen Böhm recently posted two questions which boiled down to checking whether or not his proof is correct. I left a comment on the second one saying that I don't think this is ...
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  • 21.2k
4 votes
1 answer
883 views

Can I ask whether or not a paper that proves P=NP is correct?

I found a paper on arXiv.com that claims that P=NP is proved. The paper is written by a professor in Russia and it looks well-writen. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.0954v31.pdf Can I ask whether or not ...
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23 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does Mathoverflow really want the 'Publicist' badge?

I enjoy the rewards system on the Stack exchange network. I learned some time ago that you can easily earn gold badges on all sites by picking the most interesting questions and using the "Share" ...
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23 votes
6 answers
2k views

Homework and migrating to math.se

As many people have noticed, one of the main functions of math.se is to be a place for students to get other people to do their homework for them. Obviously we do not want to facilitate such cheating....
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  • 39.8k
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Does the point system encourage flooding the site with questions?

Presently, it may well seem to users who are not yet familiar with MathOverflow that flooding the site with questions is desirable and encouraged behavior -- at least this is what the point system ...
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  • 17.9k
31 votes
1 answer
597 views

Potential "technical" obstacle to migrations, and suggestion for a solution

Practical advice: If you want to/vote to migrate something to another site (especially math.SE) please make sure that at least one of the tags on the question exists on the target site (math.SE). ...
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5 votes
1 answer
548 views

new home single topic MathSciNet

Does anyone know anything about the new offer from the AMS of getting home access to single topics in MathSciNet? http://www.ams.org/publications/math-reviews/math-reviews damn it, now i can't ...
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  • 24.4k
4 votes
1 answer
415 views

What to do if an answer was subjected to a minor formatting-only edit?

Recently an answer of mine (https://mathoverflow.net/a/20820/402) was edited (or rather, a suggested edit was approved by two other users). The edit consisted exclusively of minor formatting changes, ...
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4 votes
3 answers
446 views

Problematic wording of the TOS, take two

The Stack exchange terms of service have been recently changed since a sentence in them was perceived as too strict by many users. The change was in this paragraph: In the event that You post or ...
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10 votes
0 answers
258 views

When reviewing suggested edits, cancel rejection and approval votes

I have seen many edit suggestions approved which I consider to be minor edits to old posts (which bump them to the front page), or to actually reduce the quality or readability of the post. Other ...
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1 vote
3 answers
372 views

Are questions related to mathematicians appropriate for MO?

Is it acceptable to ask questions that are more concerned with mathematicians (women and men alike) as persons than with their contribution to mathematics? Those questions could be related to the ...
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34 votes
0 answers
601 views

Revamping the closure reasons

Motivation 1 Currently the custom off-topic reasons for MathOverflow read: This question does not appear to be about research level mathematics within the scope defined in the help center. ...
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10 votes
2 answers
749 views

"What is known about" considered harmful?

I have noticed that those of my questions with downvotes are exactly those beginning with the words "what is known about..." or "is anything known about...." For example: Stationary many subsets of $...
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28 votes
6 answers
1k views

MathOverflow at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, Baltimore, January 2014

The 2014 Joint Mathematics Meetings will be held January 15-18, 2014 in Baltimore, with hundreds thousands of mathematicians attending. It happens that I plan to attend, and since I'd enjoy going to ...
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23 votes
2 answers
816 views

Can the clutter of obviously off-topic questions be removed faster?

I have noticed a number of blatantly off-topic questions that hang around for a long time despite heavy down-voting and calls for removal by senior users. I found somewhere on the site (although I can'...
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  • 2,419
13 votes
1 answer
490 views

Number of questions posed per day

Right now the sites statistics page shows that MathOverflow is seeing an average of 38 questions per day. Is there a plot of this average over time somewhere? My perception is that it has been ...
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20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Any other site besides mathoverflow and mathematics stackexchange?

I know the differences between mathoverflow and math-stack but I have been wondering: Are there legitimate mathematical questions that would not get answered at math-stack because there is no ...
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8 votes
0 answers
315 views

Asking two questions, one of which implies the other

I have two statements, A and B, and I want to ask on MO whether they are true. They are not obviously related, but I have a (simple) argument to show that A implies B. Should I: Ask about both in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
403 views

What are our copyright policies?

Interesting questions, answers and ideas overflow everywhere in MathOverflow. Users can use them in their lectures, papers, teachings, etc. Of course it is the main propose of this free math ...
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20 votes
2 answers
636 views

Building an MO app?

On stackapps, there is a broad spectrum of apps designed by users to improve their Stack Exchange experience. Most apps are oriented toward Stack Oveflow and do not necessarily address the needs and ...
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7 votes
1 answer
365 views

What kind of soft questions are acceptable?

I have come to understand that this site is mostly used by researching mathematicians. I'm a math undergrad, but I have a few questions I'd like to ask researching mathematicians regarding approaching ...
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3 votes
1 answer
278 views

Question unanswered on MSE

Would a question that is not addressed in usual standard texts on a subject and which remains unanswered on MSE be on-topic on Mathoverflow?
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  • 1
20 votes
7 answers
2k views

What is needed to succeed in keeping up the level of the site and retaining the good contributors?

MathOverflow is a nice high-level communitiy with a good collegial academic atmosphere. I'd like to know about how this can be achieved; for example how does MathOverflow keep up the good qualitiy of ...
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  • 408
9 votes
1 answer
457 views

Is it considered good practice to clean up one's "useless" comments?

Hovering with the mouse above the upvoting arrow of a comment shows the text "this comment adds something useful to the post". Therefore arguably the number of upvotes a comment receives equals the ...
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  • 17.9k
36 votes
10 answers
4k views

On the role of anonymity in a site dedicated to research-level mathematics

My questions is whether there is a good reason to allow anonymous users in a site dedicated to research-level mathematics. In theory, most users of this site are professional mathematicians and ...
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  • 12.9k
14 votes
2 answers
648 views

How to wake up an old question?

Suppose there is an old question on mathOverflow, asked by someone else, which has been voted up a quite decent number of times, and received several answers which have also been voted up, but no ...
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  • 25k
27 votes
3 answers
1k views

Do your own homework

Occasionally, we get questions on main taken from old contests, such as Olympiads and Putnam exams. These questions are inappropriate for MO, and they get closed, which is as it should be. However, ...
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3 votes
4 answers
577 views

Which is more appropriate: MO-risking or Meta-checking?

Here is the longer version of the title: Which is more appropriate: to "risk" asking your question directly on MO, or to check the appropriateness of your question on meta in advance? From ...
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3 votes
0 answers
219 views

Bumping of obviously offtopic questions

Today, https://mathoverflow.net/questions/28487/is-there-a-concept-equivalent-to-factorial-that-uses-addition-rather-than-multip was on the front page. I was about to flag the question, only to ...
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  • 6,610
22 votes
1 answer
702 views

Should OEIS links be updated?

Historic links to the OEIS are of the form http://www.research.att.com/~njas/sequences/A097048. These links no longer work: Neil has retired from AT&T, and in the meantime has set up the OEIS ...
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6 votes
0 answers
345 views

Should this question remain closed?

The OP of How to project a vector onto a very large, non-orthogonal subspace has written to complain that the question was closed unfairly. The question is too far from my area of expertise to be ...
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  • 50.5k
28 votes
3 answers
694 views

When asking a question on MO it seems there's far too little information on what MO is about

When we switched from the old format to the MSE 2.0 format, almost all the information about what MO is about, and what is expected from a good question was been stripped from the site. I mean, one ...
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  • 40.6k
12 votes
1 answer
517 views

When to answer a question via a comment?

I have noticed something a bit confusing to me during my first few days here at MathOverflow. In the "about" section it says users can "improve posts by editing or commenting." On multiple occasions I ...
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15 votes
3 answers
941 views

Frequently asked questions about tagging on MathOverflow

Due to several discussions on the main site, I am asking this question concerning the best practices for tagging questions on MathOverflow. Unfortunately, the relevant documentation page https://...
-5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Protest for my account suspension [closed]

I posted this question about two month ago. Shortly after this, I got a moderator private message. It says: We've noticed that you have a pattern of engaging in lengthy discussions in comments, ...
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  • 1,139
38 votes
29 answers
3k views

Big list of feature requests and suggestions for a fantasy MO 3.0

I feel that MathOverflow is unique in the StackExchange network. There are features which we might want which might be unique to this site, and which might not be immediate feature requests or ...
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3 votes
1 answer
236 views

Missing question and user?

Well, this is embarrassing. I've spent the last 20 minutes looking for a particular question on main but haven't been able to find it at all. This question involves something like the growth of $n!/(...
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  • 14.7k
23 votes
2 answers
838 views

Crazy idea about soft questions

I was thinking the other day about big list and other soft questions and had the following crazy idea. It seems to me that what we want is to occasionally have good soft questions. The main thing ...
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  • 26.5k
39 votes
3 answers
3k views

What shall we do with stone soup?

Sometimes, a question is asked that isn't up to the standards of MathOverflow. Maybe it's worded vaguely, maybe it's too open ended, or maybe the asker fundamentally misunderstood something important. ...
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115 votes
2 answers
3k views

Anton's departure as moderator

Does outgoing moderator Anton Geraschenko deserve our heartfelt thanks, or what?
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  • 25.6k
31 votes
0 answers
961 views

2013 Election Results

The election process is over, and now it is time to declare the winners: Good luck in the new position, I'm sure that you'll prove to be a great addition to the community and its moderators! On ...
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  • 35.3k
4 votes
1 answer
101 views

Voting on suggested tag synonyms

I created a suggestion for the tag synonym 'mg.metric-geometry' <--- 'classical-geometry' two weeks ago. However, it appears to have received no votes yet, up or down. Is this delay to be expected? ...
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27 votes
5 answers
1k views

Drastic locking of the question "Examples of common false beliefs in mathematics"

The question Examples of common false beliefs in mathematics, was one of the best and most successful questions in the history of MO. When we discussed closing it, it was argued that after 164 answers ...
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  • 23.5k
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does research-level mathematics mean?

My understanding of this is that mathematics is research-level if: you could conceivably write a paper on some aspect of it; it could be taught in a grad-level course; it is not widely known ...
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7 votes
1 answer
233 views

Should posts sitting in the "First posts of new users" review queue be hidden from view until they have been approved?

Presently, questions from new users are shown and can be answered immediately, although they also go into a dedicated review queue (https://mathoverflow.net/review/first-posts). Since a significant ...
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  • 17.9k
-22 votes
2 answers
1k views

Don't we have a redundant math site?

We have mathoverflow.com with 144000 questions and answers, and we have math.stackexchange.com with 522000 questions and answers. Isn't there a redundancy? Shouldn't both sites be merged? I propose a ...
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  • 101
2 votes
0 answers
159 views

Should the tags [inner-models] and [inner-model-theory] be merged?

Right now there are two tags for questions about inner model theory: inner-models and inner-model-theory. I can't see any difference in the type of questions being asked under these two tags. Should ...
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14 votes
7 answers
1k views

2013 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as ...
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  • 101
17 votes
3 answers
1k views

Comment template for questions more appropriate for MSE

I think it would be nice to have a comment template that everyone could use when a (new) user asks a question on the site which is clearly more appropriate for MSE. Here's what I've been using today: ...
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31 votes
1 answer
766 views

problematic phrasing of Stack Exchange terms of service

There's a problem with how the Stack Exchange terms of service are phrased. Currently, they include the following paragraph: In the event that You post or otherwise use Subscriber Content outside ...
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  • 15.9k