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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1answer
72 views

Can external links to MO questions/answers be made more informative?

On several occasions I have sent by email links to MO questions or answers. They appear just like this - say, https://mathoverflow.net/a/287214/41291 Is it difficult to achieve that such links in ...
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1answer
241 views

Change a question after counter example

This following question was motivated by this question, though many of similar nature can be found throughout MO. The Problem: The question asks whether any bound exist on an expression, and ...
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1answer
176 views

Should we delete or reopen these old posts?

The purpose of this question is to link to various old (say $\succeq 1$ year old) closed posts, mostly by no longer active users, most of which are reasonable candidates for deletion, and a few for ...
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5answers
982 views

close/reopen wars on Mathoverflow

Sometimes one sees a situation like with this question: Cargo Cult Science in mathematics? which goes on hold and back again a number of times. Should there be a limit to the number of such rounds? ...
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2answers
416 views

Why does Mathoverflow not like opinions?

I've learnt that mathematics is largely about people and their experiences. The mathematics and the people are entwined in a way that should be celebrated. So with this in mind, why does Mathoverflow ...
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1answer
441 views

May I know why is my question on hold when it is clearly research-level?

This is my question https://mathoverflow.net/questions/262039/central-properties-of-the-integers-mathbbz-over-other-structures-with-sum I think the question is clear enough and it is easy to ...
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3answers
251 views

Is it ok to ask for explanation of content in question?

I can not explain with out taking an example. See this question Gauge theory on schemes. I hear "Gauge theory" every now and then and wanted to know what it is about. I did not enjoy reading ...
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1answer
365 views

Legitimate questions put on hold with no comments, no notification, and no chance to improve

My question was put on hold as unclear. I see a number of issues in this: No intent was made to clarify the question via comments: it was just shut up. I consider it rude and unhelpful. No reason was ...
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1answer
185 views

How to edit tags correctly?

I attempted to edit the tags for this question. I got the message: This edit introduces tags that do not help to define the topic of the question. Tags should help to describe what the question is ...
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1answer
455 views

Why this question is off-topic?

Given an even function how to obtain the most close odd function and vise versa? Why it was closed?
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1answer
204 views

Proposed merger of tags

I would like to get some reactions to the idea of merging several tags under an umbrella "infinitesimal". The motivation is that the individual tags each have few questions, and the existence of ...
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2answers
609 views

Criteria of considering relevance of the question to the domain of research topics

Please look at https://mathoverflow.net/questions/175757/conjecture-related-to-distinct-unique-permutations-of-digits. In my view, it is clearly a specific research question - it is not a general ...
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1answer
146 views

Some concession for first couple of questions posted by new user

which is more important between connection and metric? This question was posted by a new user before 40 minutes. It was not a spam post. It is not clearly mentioned what the question is. ...
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1answer
145 views

Restriction on editing closed questions

Guidelines to prove that $2^{\sqrt{2}}$ is a transcendental number? question bumped into https://mathoverflow.net/ after making an edit. I am not sure if that adds anything to the question. Should ...
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1answer
158 views

New tags: Functional Data Analysis, Time Series, Functional Time Series

In my opinion there should be at least the following two tags, I couldn't find: "Time Series", "Functional Data Analysis". Since functional data are used more and more and time series as a ...
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2answers
858 views

Politeness on MO/MetaMO

On at least two occasions some advanced MO users included in their comments phrases which were less than polite. I hope that these are isolated instances or else I would quietly and simply leave MO ...
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1answer
476 views

Can we change the reference to “professional mathematicians” on the main page?

I'm personally quite bothered by the statement on the MathOverflow main page (when not logged in) that "MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians." It seems both false ...
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1answer
169 views

Giving “bountied questions” more visibility weight

What community thinks about idea giving "bountied questions" more attention ? I almost never look on the tab "featured", I guess I am not alone. So I guess such questions deserve little attention. ...
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1answer
193 views

Should there be a separate tag for videos?

Sometimes there are questions about videos, movies, documentaries, etc. (I'll add a small sample below.) Would it be useful to have a separate tag for this topic? This could possibly help when ...
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2answers
511 views

How do people determine if other people's questions are research level or not?

I post a question here: https://mathoverflow.net/questions/159016/on-convexity-of-function-in-c10-infty (now deleted). Obviously, those who closed it think it is too elementary. But how do they know ...
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3answers
341 views

How to ask general questions about research directions in given area

Here are examples of two questions which I would like to ask. I am afraid to ask them, because they might be closed. The question about 3-manifolds might survive. The question about sporadic groups ...
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1answer
299 views

Regarding my question: “Can only the constructible sets be proven to exist in $ZF$…”

I am concerned that the 'bad reviews' regarding my most recent question are more harassment than helpful. They seem to come from distinctions between $Def$ (or what I call $\mathscr P_{Def}$), $\...
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2answers
345 views

Area 51 Mathematics Open Community Reviews

Following the discussions in Area 51 community peer review and links therein, I have created the following proposal Mathematics Open Community Reviews hoping to get things started. The proposal ...
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1answer
298 views

Should my question be closed?

See the question "On the number of $n$-perfect numbers". Some people claimed that it should be closed because I know the answer while I don't simply because they are hard open problems in number ...
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1answer
367 views

Should we create an Erdős tag?

I was thinking about creating tags for some famous or important people, like Erdős (that already exists, as pointed out by Joonas: erdos), that could be used for questions related to their work. ...
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1answer
242 views

Reputation recalculated: only even reputation now?

So +1 get 10 points for answers and questions, and -1 give -2 points. It is easy to see that users only have even reputation numbers now. Or did I miss a reputation-changing mechanism? (If not, why ...
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1answer
247 views

Why is a question asking for powerful arguments for intuitionism not a research level question?

I'd like to read some well-vetted and modern pieces arguing for intuitionism (the "intuitionist stance"?), which I take to be: As the intuitionist sees it, the rules of logic used by mathematicians ...
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1answer
188 views

Would this question be appropriate for (main) MO?

Note #1: title of this post was modified as per a great suggestion from Todd Trimble Note #2 ( to site moderators): I truly consider this question to be a legit "meta" question about the MathOverflow ...
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2answers
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 ...
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3answers
608 views

VIndictive downvoting--what can be done about such childishness, errh, lack of professionalism?

Clearly, from my reputation record, there has been some vindictive downvoting in the last three days or so. MathOverfflow is a community of people, not saints, and things like this are expected to ...
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2answers
362 views

Why a Question gets Down vote and its Answer gets Upvotes?

Please, visit my question. You will see the post has 9 downvotes and one of the answers got 7 up-votes. Moreover, the answer that got 7 votes is a mere try, not a complete answer. On the other hand ...
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1answer
258 views

The reason for putting on hold a question

Why was this question put on hold? It seems to be fairly specific and it is about mathematics. You could argue that it is slightly meta-mathematical; would it then be appropriate on meta MO?
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1answer
585 views

Restriction on Number of edits

Book about fluid dynamics asked Apr 13 '10 edited 1 hour ago Are there examples of conjectures supported by heuristic arguments that have been finally disproved? asked 21 hours ago edited 2 hours ...
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1answer
240 views

What to do when it seems that downvotes are not justified (for example, when they are directed “against” the person and not “against” the question)?

This question now has a score of $-2$ and it could be that it will be lowered still. It is an elementary attempt to resolve an open problem. I shared it with you because I am an amateur and almost ...
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2answers
305 views

Should metaMO allow actual requests for mathematical consulting services to be remunerated either by honoraria or by “usual and customary” fees?

Should metaMO allow actual requests for mathematical consulting services to be remunerated either by honoraria or by "usual and customary" fees? If so, should MO receive reasonable "broker" fees for ...
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votes
1answer
195 views

Bumping the question if it receives upvotes but no answer

Suppose a question is posted 3 days ago and it got decent number of up votes, say $5$ but did not receive any answer yet and not even comments which says some thing in direction of an answer.. In ...
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votes
4answers
698 views

Migrating a question which is already posted on the other site [closed]

When a question begins by saying "This question appeared earlier on math.stackexchange.com" and links to that earlier posting, how does it make sense to migrate it to math.stackexchange.com (thereby ...
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votes
1answer
486 views

How to properly ask for the (non)existence of hypothetical mathematical objects on MO?

A question from a rookie on MO. During my research, I introduced in my physico-mathematical equations some "nasty", "problematic" mathematical objects (namely functional integrals) that are at least ...
-5
votes
1answer
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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2answers
371 views

Is this site not intended to help mathematicians and aspiring mathematicians become more informed about the subject?

My account says "we are no longer accepting questions from this account". Although some of my questions have been negatively received (and taking into account the fastidious nature of MathOverflow), I ...
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1answer
326 views

How the moderators/admin decide the significance/research orientation of any question before closing it? is it intuitive to them?

I am not sure whether there exists some kind of objectivity in taking a decision in closing a question. For example my question https://mathoverflow.net/questions/226226/a-symmetric-function was ...
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1answer
364 views

Are these close-votes cast correctly?

I asked this question on MSE. It received up-votes and one answer that seems imprecise and unsatisfactory to me. Then I posted it here on MathOverflow for answers of higher quality, and it was also ...
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1answer
289 views

Would it be okay/interesting to ask a survey type question?

I would be interested in asking a question which asks mathematicians who visit the site the following question: 1) What research topic are you actively working on right now? 2) Why are you ...
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2answers
347 views

Should we encourage non-professionals to ask hard questions if that is good for the future development of the mathematics? [closed]

There is a story about Gauss being "unimpressed by FLT, pointing out (after finding a proof of the n=3 case) that in number theory it’s very easy to come up with problems that are very hard.". But, ...
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1answer
575 views

More precisely defining the scope of mathoverflow's subject matter

A few months back someone asked about the difference between questions appropriate for mathoverflow.net and those appropriate for math.stackexchange.com. And someone answered, saying something along ...
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votes
1answer
246 views

Can the Math Overflow look be changed? [closed]

I love the math sites but I rarely visit this MathOverflow site because of its look. The color and appearance is not appealing. I know this will sound weird but the mathematics is cool, maybe they can ...
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1answer
343 views

Is Mathoverflow aware of its role of popularizing mathematics? [closed]

I read book of prof. Michał Heller. He received award of Hugo Steinhaus for popularizing science. In his speech he mentioned Steinhaus in anecdote. In 1952 Secretary of PAN (Polish Academy of Science) ...
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1answer
162 views

adding n cat lab tag

I propose adding n cat lab tag with an intention to discuss mathematics that is written in https://ncatlab.org/nlab/show/HomePage. As https://ncatlab.org/nlab/show/HomePage has large amount of ...
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1answer
436 views

The question 'Mathematical work of Jonathan Gleason' disappeared

The question https://mathoverflow.net/questions/291518/mathematical-work-of-jonathan-gleason was deleted by some unknown person, not long after Jonathan Gleason passed away. I am shocked with the ...
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1answer
222 views

Answering off-topic questions

What is MO's exact policy on answering or not answering off-topic questions? Assuming there is some well-defined policy. My guess is: you are allowed to answer off-topic questions and if somebody ...