# Questions tagged [on-topic]

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

117
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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 ...

**80**

votes

**3**answers

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### 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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**3**answers

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### 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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### 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

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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 ...

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votes

**1**answer

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### 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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**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

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### 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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**1**answer

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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 ...

**23**

votes

**4**answers

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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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votes

**4**answers

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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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### "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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votes

**1**answer

753 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 ...

**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 ...

**22**

votes

**3**answers

850 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**

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**4**answers

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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 "...

**20**

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**2**answers

708 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 ...

**19**

votes

**3**answers

820 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 ...

**19**

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 ...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

908 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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votes

**2**answers

737 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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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 ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

549 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 ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

983 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

547 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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**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 ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

487 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 ...

**12**

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**0**answers

633 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 ...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

876 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

349 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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votes

**1**answer

450 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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**2**answers

332 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 ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

469 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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votes

**1**answer

600 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 ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

677 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 ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

648 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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**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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**0**answers

309 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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537 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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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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votes

**4**answers

830 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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votes

**2**answers

728 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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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

528 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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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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**0**answers

585 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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**4**answers

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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votes

**1**answer

545 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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438 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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### 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 ...