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2
votes
0answers
207 views

Using results from refereed papers

If a question pops up which is answered by a theorem inside some paper I’ve refereed that isn’t in print yet, is it appropriate to answer the question and cite the (presumably) forthcoming paper or ...
11
votes
0answers
325 views

One more reason to reject an edit: too much alteration

I encountered this now, and have seen it quite frequently before: I would like to reject an edit, and the reason is something between "attempt to reply" and "clearly conflicts with author's intent". ...
17
votes
2answers
582 views

Guidelines for contacting author of paper directly as opposed to asking on mathoverflow

Every now and again I will have a very specific question about a paper or book, for which I think there is a high likelihood that only the author(s) of the paper or book can give a definite answer. ...
12
votes
1answer
432 views

Altering the question in a way that makes an answer obsolete

I've seen that several times: an answer makes OP want to change the question in a way that would damage the answer. Obviously this should not be done. In fact I think it is better to delete the ...
3
votes
2answers
575 views

Some proposals for modifications of the process of closing/reopening questions

I wish to make a modest proposal on closing/reopening questions. Let me begin by noting that by far the most frequent reviews are Close votes -- almost 37,000, and looking quickly most of the close ...
49
votes
3answers
1k views

Appropriate or not: “To what extent are the results in Paper X correct?”

I have found a counterexample to the main theorem of a 20-year-old paper. The paper does not seem to be well known but it was written by reputable mathematicians and published in a highly regarded ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

How to discourage excessive self-edits?

My question is prompted by the reappearance of this post on the front page. A glance at the edit history shows that the OP has edited his own question thirteen times. This user has a history of ...
10
votes
1answer
446 views

What is the policy on “shortening titles” on MO?

A MO user (Myshkin) has just edited the title of a question of mine (here) to make it shorter. The old title was: Ref request: If the natural density (relative to the primes) exists, then the ...
3
votes
0answers
375 views

Is this (“Is this a good research question?”) a good MathOverflow question?

I apologize if this has been covered before. A cursory search of meta.mathoverflow does not reveal it. There are reasons not to make research topics public. (I have some topics that I am not ready ...
9
votes
4answers
562 views

Are MO Titles questions or Headlines:

This is a very soft question, that is inspired by an edit to one of my questions, which involved a change of the capitalization in the title; the details are not important and I don't mind such kind ...
7
votes
1answer
159 views

Is it OK to direct attention of a particular user to a particular question of mine?

About a year ago I asked a question which did produce very little feedback; today I've noticed that a specialist in the field recently joined MO. I think it would make sense to somehow ask this user ...
12
votes
1answer
510 views

Should I delete my own question if it turns out trivial after a comment?

I had not given this question enough thought before asking it. I went straight to looking for a reference without thinking about it. Somebody pointed out the obvious solution in a comment. Should I ...
10
votes
1answer
357 views

Delete wrong answers or leave them for instructional purposes

It is tempting to just delete a wrong answer on mathoverflow.net. However, some errors are subtle, and it might be instructive to label some wrong answers as such, but leave them on MO to highlight ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Reposting a Deleted Question

What are the opinions about reposting a question that come up with the discovery of a new algorithm, but had to be deleted because an "interested party" wanted to do some checking before deciding on ...
1
vote
1answer
197 views

Giving a question a recent “activity” though nothing is visible?

It happens occasionally that a question is marked "Active: Today" but clicking on this doesn't show any recent activity. I guess that this happens whenever somebody deletes his/her answer. So far so ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Subquestion of Original Post

On this question, I asked broadly about computing the Gauss Legendre quadrature for large N. However, I've mentioned there in the "edit" section an algorithm I've found on the web, which theoretically ...
23
votes
2answers
869 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
255 views

Should I edit this question or make a new question?

Should the Grothendieck ring of varieties be K_0 of numerical motives? I want to change it to: 1) Asking about after tensoring with $\Qb$ 2) Asking if there is a map in some direction and if ...
14
votes
1answer
541 views

Is it appropriate to edit a question for the sole purpose of having it highlighted?

I recently asked this question on the main site; after one day it didn't receive much attention and I decided to completely restyle it to make it more appealing, it got to the top of the "Recently ...
6
votes
1answer
909 views

Bizarre Recent Upvotes

Just in the last day or so, the following extremely low-quality posts have all received upvotes: https://mathoverflow.net/questions/190836/how-to-calculate-math-expectation https://mathoverflow.net/...
7
votes
3answers
565 views

Community standard for contacting users off of MO?

If a user is using their full name as their user name, what, if any, is the community standard with regards to emailing that user using their independently found work email address about their ...
1
vote
0answers
522 views

Risqué and uninformative title.

I found the previous title of Realizing proper pure octonions as conjugates slightly risqué and also uninformative. So in the spirit of being bold I just changed it to something mathematical. I'...
-3
votes
2answers
839 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
195 views

Question with several subquestions

Suppose one question posting contains several question. If I can answer one question, but cannot answer all of the questions, is it ok to post my answer as an answer, and not just as a comment?
10
votes
1answer
331 views

Found an answer to my question, and want to change my question accordingly

A few months ago, I asked this question, which has gotten no response whatsoever. It asks to prove a statement, or to provide a counterexample. Today, I found a counterexample, but it is in a very ...
2
votes
2answers
274 views

Accepting One's own Answer

Is there a way to accept one's own answer? I know, that question is a bit strange, but I can imagine situations, where that could make sense, e.g. to indicate that the author of the questions ...
10
votes
0answers
739 views

Extending questions and answers gradually

If someone answers my question and I want to generalize it, how should I do it? Is it ok to gradually extend my question as answers improve? An answer to a question I wanted to ask may show me that I ...
12
votes
1answer
341 views

May I borrow the question/answer editing/preview gadgets?

That is, I really like the feel and responsiveness of these gadgets (much better than LyX, for instance) and would like to use them offline. Is this actually possible? Are there licensing issues? ...
10
votes
1answer
546 views

the correct way to “cross-post”?

Obviously is to not cross-post at all. If I asked a question on Math.SE the crickets chirp, how do I move it to MO? Or rephrase in an acceptable way? I think we've all done it one or twice asked a ...
26
votes
2answers
627 views

Reference to Mathoverflow

I feel a bit awkward, but my question is this: Someone asked questions on Mathoverflow and I gave answers. The whole thing was not very deep and I could provide rather standard examples to show ...
3
votes
4answers
812 views

On: Graph Theory is the s(c/l)um of Topology (?)

Recently a question got asked that effectively asked for the origin of the quote "Graph theory is the scum of topolgy" indicating it might not be the exact quote but something along these lines. ...
4
votes
2answers
201 views

What should I do about a wrong tag added by an editor?

I posted a question and tagged it "infinite-sequences". A high-reputation editor added a more general tag: ca.analysis-and-odes. Now, in principle, having a more general tag is fine---but this tag is ...
9
votes
3answers
540 views

“This question has been answered in the comments.”

Athanagor Wurlitzer has recently been adding answers saying "This question has been answered in the comments" (see, e.g. https://mathoverflow.net/a/156051/3). I'm inclined to delete these answers (...
17
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
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. ...
18
votes
5answers
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 (...
7
votes
4answers
565 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?
23
votes
1answer
782 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
445 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
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, ...
10
votes
3answers
354 views

Should there be a general policy for putting comments on “not-suitable-for-MO” questions?

Right now, there is a question posted on MO that rightly does not belong to MO: The equivalence of the mathematical induction and the principle of the smallest. Of course, such questions comes and ...
14
votes
5answers
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it good practice to write “@someone” in a question?

On SE and on the old MO have seen @someone in a question. Probably this notifies someone in his inbox and draws his attention (which is the goal). Does it ...
2
votes
1answer
352 views

Why downvote on meta?

I only posted two questions on meta, both fact based and both about the way MO is supposed to work. Today, I realized that I have received three down-votes. I have a feeling about down-votes (and up-...
9
votes
1answer
292 views

Questions answered in a comment

It may happen that a question has zero answers, but is actually already answered satisfactorily in a comment. An example is this question. I think this is somewhat misleading, as the "0 answers" ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
674 views

Would it be appropriate to ask why a new user chose MO over MSE?

With the move to Stack Exchange 2.0, some people feel that there will be (have been?) many more first time users asking questions on MO which should instead be asked on MSE. Presumably, such a user ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...