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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20 votes
1 answer
723 views

Traffic from the list of hot network questions

To better understand the advantages and disadvantages of having MO questions featured in the list of hot network questions, as discussed here and here, it would be useful if Stack Exchange could ...
2 votes
1 answer
362 views

MathOverflow vs other measures of mathematicians' interests

How closely does MathOverflow track the interests of mathematicians as measured in other ways? For instance, the Tags page here suggests that $$\frac{\text{interest}_{tags}\text{(algebraic geometry ...
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9 votes
0 answers
478 views

Is this question appropriate? (Counterexamples in Universal Algebra)

I have a question which I'd like to ask, but I'm not sure it's appropriate for MO, and I wanted to get some feedback. The reasons I'm worried it might be inappropriate are: (1) there are already ...
1 vote
0 answers
469 views

Reference Requests: Good Ways and Bad Ways

I would like to know of types of bad examples of MathOverflow questions that are tantamount to reference requests. I can think of two: a) A reference request for something that is properly outside ...
17 votes
6 answers
2k views

Questions about applied mathematics

There's a discussion taking place at this question Mathematical study of Mpemba effect? where the author UwF is arguing that this question isn't clearly off-topic and would like some explanations for ...
  • 50.8k
4 votes
1 answer
397 views

Soft questions without reputation

I would like to ask two soft questions, but i would not like to gain reputation from this. What do you think about the following procedure: I write my question in advance. I post a question named [...
3 votes
1 answer
215 views

Remove Negatively voted Questions?

Should negatively voted questions be removed from MO in order to keep it 'clean', or, put differently: what is the use of negatively voted questions on MO? I am especially interested in opinions on ...
  • 11.3k
23 votes
2 answers
860 views

Featured MO questions on the hot list: what benefits, if any, do these bring?

“Measures to separate MO from the rest of the stackexchange network”, and various other recent meta questions, have discussed (among other things) opting out of the stackexchange-wide hot list. I’ve ...
21 votes
2 answers
623 views

Data on voting by 'association bonus only' users

There's recently been some discussion of the potential impact on voting of users whose only MathOverflow reputation comes from the network association bonus. I asked the SE team about this, and ...
19 votes
4 answers
2k views

Dealing with possible incorrectness

I have seen a few responses on MO that I think are either incorrect or possibly incorrect. What is the best way to draw attention to possible incorrectness? (I provide two examples below; if this is ...
7 votes
2 answers
630 views

"Answer your own question – share your knowledge, Q&A-style": is there consensus among MO moderators?

I have the impression, that there is no concensus among MO moderators about sharing knowledge on MO; the impression is based on quite contradictory reactions to offering to share such a knowledge, ...
  • 11.3k
-5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why was this question about axiom of choice and the Wiles's proof of FLT deleted?

Why was this question about axiom of choice and the Wiles's proof of FLT deleted? Namely the question was as follows: Does the Wiles's proof of Fermat's last theorem rely on axiom of choice? [I ...
  • 1,139
4 votes
0 answers
403 views

Non-research level question

I just gave an answer to the following question: https://mathoverflow.net/questions/153157/a-lemma-on-the-growth-of-the-number-of-certain-edge-paths-for-a-given-train-trac/153170 but I think the ...
  • 20.3k
1 vote
0 answers
247 views

Preferred Conciseness of Contributions

This is a followup question to Appropriate Reaction to a Failed Reference Request on MO related to Reference Request for Integer factorization with LP/ILP I'm about to prepare an answer that ...
  • 11.3k
3 votes
3 answers
772 views

Why this question is not welcomed but others are welcomed in MO?

May I wonder why this question is not welcomed: accidental-unplanned-breakthroughs-in-mathematics see the votes-down. And unfriendly responses. but many others are even more broad or more opinion-...
  • 10k
22 votes
3 answers
1k views

Answering not research level questions

I just commented the solution to a question that was obviously not research level. Then I deleted the solution again since providing it might encourage people to again asking such questions. ...
31 votes
10 answers
3k views

What MO is for and what is *your* aim in participation?

Q1: What is your view on the purpose, aims and benefits of MO? Q2: What are your specific aim, targets and benefits in participation at MO?
  • 23.7k
22 votes
3 answers
1k views

Measures to separate math overflow from the rest of the stack exchange network

It seems that there is a widespread concern about the influence that in many ways the switch to the stack exchange network has on this site. I infer this from the many questions on meta on this ...
  • 25k
18 votes
5 answers
1k views

On the recent question "Is Euclid dead?", or: Is it considered good practice to use MathOverflow for a campaign?

Yesterday, a question entitled Is Euclid dead? has been asked in which the OP states: "Currently I am leading a campaign for the return of EG to the syllabus of the high schools of my country (...
  • 18.3k
7 votes
4 answers
582 views

Is it morally all right to link to a particular bookseller?

I've just answered a question on MO by introducing a book. I was about to hyperlink the book to a particular bookseller then suddenly I doubted if it is all right to do so. Is it?
  • 2,259
6 votes
5 answers
248 views

How to avoid prepending a blank line or indenting the first line of a post when using \newcommand?

When \newcommand is used, it is somewhat common that it is used in such a way that the (rendered) post starts with a blank line. While this is minor, it is still ...
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8 votes
1 answer
470 views

Answer to what was an open question

I vaguely remember reading a question on main about a possibly "open question", which got an answer which started by affirming that the question is indeed open, and then proceeded to provide a ...
  • 31.9k
8 votes
2 answers
524 views

Meta Question: Asked in Math Stack Exchange, Unanswered: Can I move it Here?

My apologies in advance if this is off-topic; I searched to see if this question was acceptable here, but could not find a clear answer. Anyways: I posted a question on Math Stack exchange two weks ...
's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
441 views

Voting on meta questions to indicate agreement or disagreement

We've previously discussed the meaning of a downvote on meta, and I think that's worth reading before discussing anything further here. I don't at all like that perfectly reasonable questions (...
25 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
  • 22.6k
4 votes
1 answer
885 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 ...
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" ...
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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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 ...
  • 18.3k
31 votes
1 answer
598 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 ...
  • 24.5k
4 votes
1 answer
419 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, ...
4 votes
3 answers
448 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 ...
10 votes
0 answers
259 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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
373 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 ...
  • 11.3k
34 votes
0 answers
609 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. ...
  • 31.9k
10 votes
2 answers
761 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 $...
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 ...
23 votes
2 answers
819 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'...
  • 2,427
13 votes
1 answer
495 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
404 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 ...
's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
646 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 ...
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 ...
's user avatar
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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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 ...
  • 408
9 votes
1 answer
458 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 ...
  • 18.3k
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 ...
14 votes
2 answers
652 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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