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Before MathOverflow, the culture of mathematics question-and-answers was quite primitive. I remember the days when a student would impress their mathematics questions, expressed in cuneiform, by pressing with a stylus into clay tablets, and then bake them and carry them the next day to the summit of the mountain, to be viewed the next dawn by the gods. The ...


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Usenet For example, these newsgroups: sci.math sci.math.research sci.math.num-analysis sci.math.symbolic See back in time to them HERE


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IRC (Internet Relay Chat) had #math channels where people discussed concepts using an obscure dialect called ASCII. There were moderated and unmoderated forums with thread based email discussions called USENET news. Some of them dealt with mathematics, and were remarkably free of spam and noise before some corporation bought them and made them publicly ...


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[UNDELETED] [REOPENED] [CLOSED] I would suggest to undelete/reopen https://mathoverflow.net/q/328312, as a courtesy and sign of respect, and then hopefully one of our experts can answer it. I know, I was one of those who cast a vote to delete, when I was still under the impression that this was posted under a false name. Somehow the software allows to ...


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The Categories mailing list has been already mentioned in comments, I just want to add one detail, I think a significant one. Mac Lane almost never posted there. I know several people that were sort of disappointed. Don't remember who told me this, but, when asked about it, he responded that such kind of communication was for birds. He thus foresaw birth ...


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The Secret Blogging Seminar used to have a Requests thread, where people could suggest topics for us to write about.


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[REOPENED] Why did Bourbaki ignore the theory of categories? only survived 25 hours in 2013, collecting 5 answers; it has been closed ever since. The reason given (“not constructive”, “will likely solicit debate, arguments,...” rather than “facts, references,...”) would no longer be an option, and seems refuted by the facts, references, etc. since added in ...


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[REOPENED] This cw question (on the spelling of Chebyshev and Cholesky) has good answers and I think it deserves to be reopened. (The sole Chebyshev case was worth a specific discussion, and for this reason I think it's fine to have it here rather than on a linguistics forum.)


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The question Why do some mathematicians believe that the notation $(x_n)_{n\in \omega}$ is better than $(x_n)_{n=0}^\infty$ or $(x_n)_{n\in \mathbb N}$ seems to be asked in good faith, even if the tone may have annoyed people who use the notation. It was closed as "primarily opinion-based" but I think that actual practitioners, especially those who work with ...


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Re-opened and then re-closed I don't think it is obvious how to find the shortest chord that bisects the area of a convex polygon. That is the question posed in this now closed post: Shortest bisecting line. Perhaps one would have to use the algorithm below, modified to spin the direction through $180^\circ$. Shermer, Thomas C. "A linear algorithm for ...


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