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81 votes
3 answers
3k views

Should we exercise a bit more tolerance towards newcomers?

What bothers me quite a bit is that many people come to MO to get some help with their mathematical problems and are met with nothing but our standard "closed as not research level" verdict and a few ...
fedja's user avatar
  • 60.1k
56 votes
4 answers
7k views

Flood of Similar New User(s)

The following thirteen(!) users: goingfullscheme valua_aint_no_galois going-full-isomorphic logicians_rule, martintzar royalroadtogeometry bundlist compactbut faptoint you_dont_mess_with_ron ...
Steven Landsburg's user avatar
45 votes
4 answers
2k views

"Stack Overflow Isn’t Very Welcoming." --- are we?

There is a new posting on the Stackoverflow blog, entitled Stack Overflow Isn’t Very Welcoming. It’s Time for That to Change. A quote: Too often, someone comes here to ask a question, only to be ...
Carlo Beenakker's user avatar
36 votes
3 answers
2k views

Welcoming new user: on a recent question about connections

I think that the history of this question about connections is unfortunate. I would like to discuss (respectfully, without throwing blame around) whether/how a better outcome might have been achieved....
Neil Strickland's user avatar
34 votes
6 answers
3k views

How can we attract more grad students?

To quote an answer to a recent meta.MO question: Here are some examples of people we would like the site to be welcoming to: Prominent mathematicians who are less "online" than the typical ...
dhy's user avatar
  • 5,888
25 votes
4 answers
1k views

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 ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
23 votes
4 answers
1k views

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 ...
Igor Khavkine's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
879 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 ...
Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine's user avatar
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 ...
Joël's user avatar
  • 25.8k
21 votes
4 answers
780 views

Customize the modal window for the first-time askers [duplicate]

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 ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
804 views

How do off-topic question askers find MO?

Apologies if this has been addressed on Meta before (it's a little hard to know the right keywords to search for Meta questions with). Question: Has there been any systematic attempt to try to figure ...
Sam Hopkins's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
730 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 ...
François G. Dorais's user avatar
16 votes
5 answers
751 views

What should the modal window for first-time askers say?

When a user asks their very first question on a Stack Exchange site, they are shown a modal window with some introductory advice. As explained in the March 2020 announcement of this feature, there is ...
Tim Campion's user avatar
  • 61.9k
16 votes
2 answers
449 views

Feature request: add short "about MathOverflow" section to the front page

Until a few years ago MathOverflow front page had a short section at the top describing what the site is for. I am not sure when it disappeared or why but I would like to see it restored. Currently ...
Vitali Kapovitch's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
761 views

How to make welcoming comments on "homework-like" posts that will be closed?

We get posts here that are phrased as if from a textbook or homework; the one I have in mind is Find the recurrence relation, but my question is more general. Such posts will certainly be closed. A ...
LSpice's user avatar
  • 11.6k
10 votes
6 answers
451 views

Revising the help page on "What topics can I ask around here?"

This is a freestanding post taking its content from a previous discussion on the modal window for first-time askers. Thanks to Martin Sleziak and Tim Campion for the encouragement to post it ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
433 views

Reword "What topics can I ask about here?"

Another time recently, an user has asked a question which is very far from research level, and has been reprimanded for not reading the FAQ. However, I realize that there might be a problem in the ...
Federico Poloni's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
297 views

Should there be a banner with some basic info about MO in the right sidebar?

A recent discussion about customizing the "Draft your question" panel reminded me of an older one here: Feature request: add short "about MathOverflow" section to the front page. ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
283 views

What is to be done about replies left as edits?

This question attracted a comment that seems relevant and helpful. Unfortunately, the user who tried to leave this comment is new and has a reputation of 1. The user could not leave comments, so ...
Yoav Kallus's user avatar
  • 5,936
7 votes
1 answer
237 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 ...
Stefan Kohl's user avatar
  • 19.5k
7 votes
1 answer
952 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 ...
Michael Albanese's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
377 views

How to make it easier to moderate blatantly off-topic questions?

As many of you have noticed, there's a lot of new users asking basic mathematics questions. This is not the only site in the network with this kind of problem; on Meta Stack Exchange we get all kinds ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 2,741
6 votes
4 answers
299 views

What should the "hover text" for the MathOverflow link on all SE sites be?

If you go to the bottom of any page in the SE network (e.g. this one!), you'll see a list of SE sites. In particular there's a link to MathOverflow, that is potentially seen by a large number of ...
6 votes
0 answers
267 views

Might featuring some FAQ posts on meta be useful?

Among the things on the site which can be directly influenced by the site moderators (without any involvement of Stack Exchange staff), probably the community bulletin has the most visibility. The ...
Martin Sleziak's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
311 views

Automatic comments by Community

There seem to be automatically generated comments by "Community". As an example, this question by a new user has Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to ...
YCor's user avatar
  • 60.7k
3 votes
0 answers
277 views

About votes by 101 users

Related: this So I have just run a query at SEDE, and get the following data: Upvotes cast by rep 101 users: 66626 Upvotes cast by all users: 1777003 Hence by simple calculation, we get $$\frac {...
user12986714's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
261 views

Are new users with inappropriate questions given help or rudely dismissed?

I often see questions like this: co.combinatorics - Given index $i$, what element is at position $i$ in sorted subsets that are obviously better suited for the Math.SE site. This particular question ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
158 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. ...
Praphulla Koushik's user avatar