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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Should users be shown some basic information before posting the first question? [duplicate]

In an answer to another question discussing possibilities how to decrease the number of off-topic questions1 it was mentioned that: Perhaps we should force a person to read the rules before posting ...
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My question has already been asked, but not really answered? What should I do?

I have a question I am curious about: call it $Q$. There exists a posted question $P$ on MO which asks my question $Q$. More precisely, $P$ states a series of (slightly vague) questions, one of ...
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1answer
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Why is the update so awesome?

I mean, we really don't deserve it. It's awesome. Good work everyone, high-fives all around. Cheers (for those of you from across the pond, so-to-speak).
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Why is “MathOverflow” spelled without a space when “Stack Overflow” is spelled with a space?

I assumed the name of our site “MathOverflow” is derived from the name “Stack Overflow” of the first and largest site that used the same base software (Stack Exchange). Is this so? If it is, then ...
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1answer
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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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On using MathJax to create 'white space'

The purpose of this post is, first, to raise awareness (as this, reasonably, might not be clear) that the way some (and it seems to me the number is growing) use MathJax to create 'white space' (or to ...
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2answers
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How can I customize site in my browser to get “old feel” look of MathOverflow?

It seems that some of the users are not too happy with the new design and prefer the old look. I will admit that I have not much experience with this stuff, but from I've read on various meta sites ...
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2answers
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Slight downward trend in Q & A

I thought MO users might be interested in this graph constructed by Neal Young in a discussion at meta.cstheory about the more pronounced downward trend in cstheory. It shows MO Q&A activity ...
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1answer
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Request from PRIMES to keep an eye out for their problems

On m.SE last year there was a problem with someone cheating on the entrance problem set for the PRIMES high school research program at MIT. Selection for PRIMES for this year has begun, and they're ...
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1answer
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“A year in moderation” post on MathOverflow?

You might have noticed than many Stack Exchange sites have some statistics about both community moderation and moderators' activity posted on meta under the title "2018: a year in moderation". Here is ...
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0answers
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Unregistered Users (in Theory and in Practice)

There's been past discussion (e.g. here) about whether MathOverflow should allow posts from unregistered users. I am fully on board with the apparent consensus that the answer is yes, because of the ...
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5answers
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Community Peer-Review in Mathoverflow

I was recently surfing around the Physicsoverflow and I have to admit I was impressed by their Review section. I could not help myself from thinking how -and if- such a feature could also be ...
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Statistics showing that more reputation for questions leads to better questions

One of the more controversial aspects of the transition to MO2.0, for myself at least, was the reduction in the reputation added for upvotes on questions asked from +10 to +5, while retaining the ...
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2answers
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MO policy regarding pseudonyms that are other people's real name

I have noticed just now that a user has chosen as pseudonym "Alexander Grothendieck", which I'm a bit unconfortable with (the probability that it is also that user's name is extremely low, hence my ...
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4answers
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How to handle crankery on MathOverflow 2.0?

On the previous MO we had a thread on Tea called "crank post to flag as spam" in which crank posts were pointed out so people could flag them as spam and have them deleted. Seeing how we are now ...
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Questions which are research level but where the OP is unlikely to have the background to follow the research

There is a type of question which gets closed a lot which I find frustrating. An example is How to compute the volume of a region transformed by a matrix? , which I recently took the liberty of ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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Appropriateness of recent LIGO question for MO

There had been numerous comments under the question Recent observation of gravitational waves that discuss whether it is appropriate for MathOverflow. That discussion is properly a concern of MO meta, ...
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6answers
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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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4answers
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Editing titles to include $\mathfrak{LaTeX \; Math}$

Should question titles, which sometimes intentionally avoid LaTeX math for those who choose faster rendering, be edited to insist upon LaTeX math? A recent instance that prompted my question is "two ...
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4answers
954 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

“Newbie-style” questions: is there an “official” viewpoint of MO?

(Neil Strickland provided a link to early graduate level questions: MO or Math.SE? which more or less answers this, so I have marked it as a duplicate) Every now and then I encounter questions which ...
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3answers
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Examples of mathematical exposition arising from MO answers

I could imagine that several very long Mathoverflow answers have eventually turned into expository papers. For example, I have posted this (unpublished) expository paper on the arxiv about various ...
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2answers
810 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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1answer
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If I see spam together with mathematical content in an answer, should I edit out the spam?

The title almost says it all, except that I should say that 'spam' here has the strict meaning where a vendor inserts a unsolicited link to a page that advertises or sells a product. There may be ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
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Should MathOverflow require registration to ask a question?

Probably anybody visiting this site regularly noticed that quite often there are posts which are not at MO-level and quite frequently also of very low quality. (Many of them are simply copy-paste of ...
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2answers
972 views

Editing etiquette

What are some general guidelines for editing a MathOverflow post? Are there some "do"s and "don't"s I should know about? (The material that was previously in this question box has been moved to an ...
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4answers
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Encouraging new users to provide a name or a nickname

After the transition to MO 2.0, I noticed an increased influx of anonymous users, with user names like user####. Of course, people can have all kinds of reasons to ...
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1answer
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“Is this a known/interesting result?”-type questions

Are questions of the form "Is this a known result?" and "Is this an interesting result?" legitimate for MO? I have sometimes found myself staring at results that were new to me and unsure whether ...
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2answers
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MathOverflow @ ICM2014 : We Want You!

This post will raise several questions/issues on which I want community feedback. Background: Inspired by Tim Post's offer Mugs, Stickers And Shirts - Now With 100% More MathOverflow! , I++ decided ...
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1answer
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I can't understand the answers

I found myself in a slightly awkward situation. "Working" (hobby) on group conjugation I learnt about quandles and I finally managed to formulate some questions of some of the issues that interest me ...
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2answers
832 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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0answers
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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 ...
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Should “The probability for a streak when tossing a coin” be reopened?

The question "The probability for a streak when tossing a coin" is on hold. [Edit: It has been reopened.] I disagree with closing the question and voted to reopen. This problem may sound like it is ...
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13answers
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2021 Moderator election: suggestions for nominees?

As you may have seen, the nominations for the 2021 moderator election will be open on March 29. Per StackExchange rules, MO users are expected to nominate themselves for the election. For some ...
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3answers
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 ...
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5answers
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How should we react to the existence of Math Educators SE?

As was previously announced at meta, there is now an SE site for mathematics education (MESE). My broad questions is this: Should we react to this somehow? (More specific questions are below.) Does ...
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3answers
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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. ...
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3answers
825 views

Pronunciation questions

Every so often, I have a question about the correct pronunciation of a math term/name that I’ve only read, and the answer isn’t on Wikipedia. Some examples from my past: “Hartshorne” (I ended up ...
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1answer
665 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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1answer
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One person creating multiple Riemann Hypothesis-related accounts

I have been flagging these posts individually, but I thought maybe a meta question would be a good follow-up, in case the moderators are not aware of the behaviour. As @YemonChoi points out, the ...
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1answer
1k views

Why do we link to Twitter, Facebook or Google+ below every question?

I edit this old feature request of mine, in the hope that mentality have evolved and some consensus can be reached and some action be taken: After each question on MO (with no answers yet), we can ...
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7answers
2k views

Can MO go back to +5 rep for questions? Should it?

In case you missed the news, upvotes on questions now grant +10 reputation instead of +5, and the change has been implemented retroactively (most if not all users have already had their reputation ...
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5answers
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What should be the policy on “open problems” on MO?

The subject of this discussion are questions on "open problems" on MO. There is an existing policy on "open problems" reproduced from the (old) FAQs, which involves an open-problem tag. The ...
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1answer
766 views

Will ads appear on MO?

It looks like the Stack Exchange network is trying to monetize the various stack sites as much as possible, to the dismay of users across the board. Will this affect MO? If I recall correctly we ...
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4answers
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Publicizing conjectures on MO

This question Positive integers written as $\binom{w}2+\binom{x}4+\binom{y}6+\binom{z}8$ with $w,x,y,z\in\{2,3,\ldots\}$ is basically just a statement of a few conjectures by the asker. The "...
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4answers
591 views

Customize the modal window for the first-time askers

When a user asks their very first question on a Stack Exchange site, they are shown a modal window with a short advice. The content can be either a generic message or it can be customized for a ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Someone is trying to delete the Memorable Titles thread

There is currently a vote to delete this very old thread. I am writing to register my strong protest against this and bring it to the attention of other users here on meta. Most memorable titles

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