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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82 votes
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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 ...
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  • 515
80 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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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39 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
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36 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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32 votes
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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26 votes
1 answer
816 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 ...
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25 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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24 votes
1 answer
782 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 ...
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23 votes
4 answers
2k views

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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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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23 votes
3 answers
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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22 votes
5 answers
2k views

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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22 votes
3 answers
887 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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21 votes
4 answers
2k 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 "...
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21 votes
2 answers
760 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 ...
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20 votes
2 answers
836 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 ...
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20 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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19 votes
3 answers
844 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 ...
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19 votes
1 answer
917 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 ...
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17 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
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14 votes
1 answer
564 views

Are questions appropriate if they require answers to be edited in perpetuity?

A recent popular question asks about the status of a certain list of open problems. The OP answered his own question within 13 hours of asking it, and has now edited his answer 26 times, so that it is ...
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14 votes
0 answers
587 views

To which extent can one modify another's question?

One highly off-topic question of real analysis was asked in the main site by a new user. One user sent, 1 hour later, a long answer going far beyond the the question, and then, 12 hours later, edited ...
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13 votes
1 answer
985 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 ...
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13 votes
0 answers
559 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 ...
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12 votes
2 answers
920 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 ...
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12 votes
1 answer
529 views

Can I ask a question on MathOverflow and also on another site?

Sometimes one might ask a question on a website such as Mathematics Stack Exchange which is comparable but not identical to MathOverflow, and then decide to post the same question on MathOverflow. ...
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is this an appropriate MathOverflow question: can I ask for some intuition and "excitement" behind the Dynamical Mordell-Lang conjecture?

I am a math undergraduate at my local university, and I have decided to make it a habit to attend the weekly seminars that are given by the faculty. Today, the talk was on the Dynamic Mordell-Lang ...
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12 votes
2 answers
490 views

Revamping the closure reasons in 2022

Prompted by Gro-Tsen's recent meta question, it appears that now may be a good time to rethink our site-specific close reasons here on MathOverflow. Background: If you have sufficient rep, you can ...
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  • 49.6k
12 votes
1 answer
503 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 ...
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12 votes
0 answers
634 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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  • 3,537
11 votes
2 answers
340 views

(When) are "career advice" questions on-topic here? If and when such a question is on-topic, what to keep in mind in answering such a question?

We have a tag career and a tag advice. We don't have a flood of questions under these tags, but for several reasons I think it would also be appropriate for us to have a bit more guidance on meta ...
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11 votes
1 answer
465 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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
479 views

Writing a proper MathOverflow question

I am in uni and I'm struggling to write a proper question for this site. I always end up writing too little and people say they need more detail. Sometimes I get a bad rep and criticised for being ...
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11 votes
1 answer
608 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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
694 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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
680 views

Advice with arXiv: MO Meta or academia SE?

I would like to write a question $Q$ asking for advice about what to do with a note which I wrote (itself based on a self-answer on MathOverflow) which was rejected from the arXiv (something I didn't ...
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11 votes
0 answers
386 views

Utility of Mathematics: Is this question appropriate here, and if not/if so, how can I phrase it better?

I would like to know if this question is appropriate for Math Overflow, and if so, how I can phrase it better to get the best results. Question: I recently spoke with a very nice mathematician who ...
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11 votes
0 answers
317 views

Role of the tag "gm.general-mathematics"

This question is about the tag gm.general-mathematics. A meta question about it already occurred here, but was less specific (and didn't generate much discussion). See also the discussion in the ...
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11 votes
0 answers
540 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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  • 706
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Questions, answers, comments or discussions on aspects of politics relevant to mathematicians on MathOverflow (main or meta)

Given the recent question here on meta about the deletion of a comment stating a political opinion on an answer which also stated a political opinion which sparked a lively debate, let me bring up the ...
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10 votes
4 answers
839 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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10 votes
1 answer
927 views

About if questions in Research papers can be asked on MathOverflow

I am new to MathOverflow. I am a master of mathematics student. I wanted to ask if questions in research papers ( regarding what I am not able to understand in the paper ) can be asked on ...
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  • 522
10 votes
2 answers
750 views

"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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10 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: ...
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10 votes
1 answer
480 views

Could we add another reason for closing that's more appropriate for "check this (dis)proof of RH"-type questions?

I wanted to vote to close this question which claims to disprove the Riemann Hypothesis, but I realized that, even though we get questions of this kind occasionally, none of the reasons to close is ...
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10 votes
1 answer
529 views

High accuracy computation question on MO

Can I ask question which require very high accuracy calculation with very delicate nature on MO : Ex: calculate: $$S(q)=\int_{x=2}^q\sin^2\left(\frac{π\Gamma(x)}{2x}\right)dx$$ for $q=10^3$ or $10^...
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  • 365
10 votes
0 answers
410 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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10 votes
0 answers
586 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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