# Questions tagged [on-topic]

For discussions and questions on the appropriateness (for the main site) of a question or a certain type of question.

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### Is there a way to discuss the correctness of the proof of the RH by Atiyah in MO?

I just made a question in MO to discuss the correctness of the proof provided by Prof. Atiyah for the Riemann hypothesis (link here: Is there an error in the pre print published by Atiyah with his ...

**79**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Should this site be “a shortcut to substitute for literature searches”?

On Reference for invariance of essential spectrum under relatively compact perturbations, Michael Renardy voted to close with the comment "This site should not become a shortcut to substitute for ...

**49**

votes

**3**answers

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 ...

**47**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### On discussion of published papers at MO

There is an interesting discussion taking place at MO over the suitability of this question: Complex structure on $S^6$ gets published in Journ. Math. Phys. The question is about the correctness of a ...

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votes

**4**answers

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### A StackExchange website aimed at graduate students?

There has been a lot of discussion about questions that do not get answered on MSE, but are not considered 'research level' on MO and thus get closed. The problem seems to be that certain questions ...

**34**

votes

**1**answer

990 views

### How is it off-topic to ask whether the normalization of a local complete intersection is Gorenstein?

This question (which I did not ask) is whether the normalization of a local complete intersection domain is Gorenstein. Why was this closed as "off-topic"? Especially when this one, which asks ...

**32**

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**2**answers

2k views

### early graduate level questions: MO or Math.SE?

When I first began on this site MathOverflow took questions at all levels. Then Math.SE was created and the level of MO has crept up steadily with Math.SE not necessarily absorbing the remainder ...

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votes

**1**answer

847 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 ...

**25**

votes

**1**answer

771 views

### Should I start posting my questions on MO?

I have been a member of MO and of math.SE for a long time now. My participation in MO has been mainly lurking because I am not a researcher but a student who aims to become one. So, logically, I have ...

**23**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### 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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### 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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**3**answers

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### “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 ...

**22**

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**5**answers

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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 ...

**22**

votes

**3**answers

743 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 ...

**21**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### 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 "...

**21**

votes

**1**answer

707 views

### “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 ...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

619 views

### Is my question suitable for MO?

Around a month ago I asked a question on ME here. It was well received (got seven up votes). Sadly nobody was able to help much. To get more attention I also placed a bounty on it. Still no luck. The ...

**18**

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**2**answers

1k 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 ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

605 views

### Is there a consensus on whether history of mathematics questions are acceptable on MO?

I recently stumbled across an old meta discussion in which some people suggested that history of mathematics questions were off-topic for MO. This took me by surprise and I would like to ask for ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

690 views

### Questions on Coq

Now I'm awake again, I can raise this here in meta, as per quid's request.
I commented on the question How do I verify the Coq proof of Feit-Thompson?
I like this question, and would defend it ...

**16**

votes

**6**answers

1k 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 ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

972 views

### Humans, Go, Computers, Math

This is the meta thread for What advantage humans have over computers in mathematics?
It was closed, got reopened and reclosed, and reopened again.
In an effort to close the barn before the horse ...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

528 views

### Is this question appropriate for MO? (Recognizing cohomological ideas)

About two weeks ago I asked this question on MSE: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1085946/when-should-i-be-doing-cohomology. (Short version: what are some ways I can tell that some sort of ...

**12**

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**0**answers

532 views

### Appropriateness of proposed question on applications of number theory in dynamical systems?

Update: the question has now been asked on the main site - Applications of number theory in dynamical systems
I am considering asking a reference-request type question on MO about significant and/or ...

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**0**answers

627 views

### Is the following question on paper-writing etiquette appropriate for MO?

I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to ask a soft question on MO regarding mathematical etiquette. In more detail, I'm writing a paper that cites a well-known paper in my field, but I've been ...

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**2**answers

800 views

### Is it appropriate to ask a research-level question that is not part of a research problem?

I think that the following question is conceivably research-level, but it arose just as a curiosity, not part of any serious research. Is it reasonable to ask it on MO? (I include the specific ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

433 views

### Is it appropriate to ask for exercises?

I am teaching an independent-reading course from Simon's "Representations of finite and compact groups". I chose this book based on fond memories from a previous reading course in which I had ...

**11**

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**1**answer

425 views

### Can I ask about entry-level questions (understanding and definitions) of research-level topics?

I am currently doing a reading on Teichmuller space and I am having trouble understanding some basic definitions. So I asked these two questions on MSE first:
Understanding Teichmuller equivalence of ...

**11**

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**1**answer

666 views

### Can a definition make a good question?

There is a question I would like to ask at MO, but it seems somewhat unorthodox compared most others, so I want to get some support (or discouragement) here first.
What I want to do is to give a new ...

**10**

votes

**4**answers

767 views

### Are research questions in MSC 97 (Mathematics education) allowed on MO?

Check AMS Mathematics Subject Classification, you will find the 2 digit classification "97" for mathematics education. Thus it seems that It is allowed to ask mathematics education research questions ...

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### “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 $...

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votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Is the question “Why fund the research in pure mathematics?” allowed on MO?

Because it's now very "sensitive" to ask soft-questions on MO, I prefer to take my care.
I would like ask "Why fund the research in pure mathematics?" on MO (in community-wiki mode),
with the tags: ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

581 views

### Is MO the place to explore whether a problem has been considered or solved by mathematicians?

I am a university AP and I like composing problems (not for kids, not for practice). Oftentimes I don't know whether or not the problem has been considered or solved by other mathematicians. Is ...

**10**

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**0**answers

407 views

### Is it appropriate to post question asking to prove NP-completness of more than one problem?

I believe that I discovered a method to generate several NP-complete problems. The NP-completeness proof is not immediately apparent to me. I did not find any reference in complexity literature to my ...

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484 views

### Suitability about a question on amenability of Thompsons group $F$

I was wondering if a question along the lines of the following would be appropriate for MO:
An open problem that seems to get a lot of attention every once in a while is the amenability of ...

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**0**answers

578 views

### On “How does the work of a pure mathematician impact society?”

The question How does the work of a pure mathematician impact society? was originally quickly closed, relatively quickly reopened, after a longer time closed again and has at the time of this edit a ...

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**1**answer

498 views

### A (type of) question which falls between MO and academia.SE?

This question Style of mathematical writing vs. too many lemmas seems like it may get closed. I am somewhat torn as to whether it should stay open or be closed (and so I have neither voted up nor down ...

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381 views

### Questions on Mathematical Writing

Where should I ask about how to approach Mathematical paper writing? For example, the question [How to write an abstract for a math paper? ] was put on hold? Which stack exchange site should I have ...

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**0**answers

687 views

### Why this is off-topic?

I posted a question on MSE for two months and received no helpful answer. So I tried the same question on MO. I got 4 off-topic votes and so the question got migrated back to MSE. I'd like to mention ...

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471 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 ...

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votes

**1**answer

382 views

### Is asking question from graduate books allowed

Is it ok to ask questions from books like Probabilistic Method by Noga Alon, the * marked ones, since they are tough questions but not exactly research level questions.
I had already asked this ...

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**2**answers

530 views

### Getting Experts Opinions on Mathematical Results

I would like to know, whether it is in the line of MO rules to present a result and ask for "opinions" like whether it is already known or worth pursuing and, who might be interested in the result.
...

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1k views

### How to treat `polymath' questions?

W. Kuperberg asked a question about plane geometry, which invites contributions to solving a research problem which he has worked on.
Small quadrilaterals containing a given convex region
Given that ...

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**1**answer

407 views

### Is asking a question on the applicability of cellular automata to solving PDEs on closed curves appropriate?

Being a low rep user who is somewhat unfamiliar with the workings of this site, I would appreciate it if I could get some feedback on a question I am considering asking. It would be a reference ...

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1k views

### On the question about a strengthening of Bertrand's postulate

I am trying to work out what I think about the suitability of this question. The author is in a very real and awkward situation: His$^{\ast}$ graduate student has a result. The result is not that ...

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**3**answers

623 views

### Where/how does one best post “Seeking a collaborator”

I have an idea for an attack on an additive number theory conjecture. My usual collaborator (with whom I have published four papers) is not an ANT specialist, and is not interested in working on this ...

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**1**answer

370 views

### Are interdisciplinary questions about mathematics of musical instruments on-topic here?

I have some mathematical questions that lie between music and mathematics, particularly applications of mathematics in building musical instruments.
As an example see this paper: The Mathematics of ...

**6**

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**2**answers

488 views

### Suitability on MO of question on teaching engineers mathematical thinking skills

Recently, I asked a question on MSE about teaching engineers mathematical thinking skills. Would this question be suitable for MO, where it might reach more professionals involved in teaching ...

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**0**answers

702 views

### Requesting solutions to graduate textbooks is off-topic?

Today this question was put on Hold as off-topic
https://mathoverflow.net/questions/186117/solutions-for-categories-for-the-working-mathematician
I wander if this is a disservice in fact. I suspect ...

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765 views

### Are these questions of mine, (seemingly too hard for MSE?), suitable for MO?

The questions at issue are this and this. If they get no answer even after the end of bounties, might I post to MO?
And how about evaluating $\displaystyle \sum_{m=0}^\infty \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{(-...