# Tag Info

5

Here are some additional SEDE queries. (As my knowledge of SQL is rather limited, take all of this with a grain of salt.) Percentage of Upvotes and Percentage of Upvotes (multisite). MathOverflow currently gives 91.94%. We can obtain average number of up/down-votes on post which weren't deleted if we look into table Posts rather than PostsWithDeleted. (But ...

10

We can use the Data Explorer to see how often we up- and downvote. This query compares the number of posts (including deleted ones) and the number of up- and downvotes for all sites in the network. On MathOverflow, a post receives (on average) 5.29 upvotes and 0.46 downvotes. Of the 176 sites in the network, we're #23 when it comes to upvotes per post, and #...

10

One way to reconcile the contradiction is to incentivize our more experienced users to clean up borderline questions. Then instead of sending the message, "Only people who speak our secret language are allowed in these parts," we can send the message, "Hey there! If you don't mind, I'm going to reword your request a little bit to help make ...

9

I may add my 2¢ : I have the feeling that the single most unwelcoming aspect of MO is the down vote. There are several reasons for that: unlike a close vote, it is visible for all and therefore tends to have the effect of a "slap in the face". When new users respond aggresively it is typically after their first down vote. Moreover, while a close ...

3

I am not sure what specific suggestions I can make for how to make MathOverflow more welcoming, but I do want to say that the MathOverflow site—while tremendously interesting—does seem to be fairly unfriendly to new users, even ones who might be worthwhile contributors to the community. Although I first started posting at MathOverflow with a full ...

13

Martin's comment and his recent thread on the welcome window hit the nail on the head. The correct way to be welcoming towards this kind of asker is having good "how to ask" instructions that essentially show the asker that this isn't the right place before they post. Mathoverflow doesn't have those instructions, and this is something that we need ...

18

Here are some examples of people we would like the site to be welcoming to: Prominent mathematicians who are less "online" than the typical MO user. Current advanced graduate students. Currently MO has a pretty bad reputation with both such groups. In neither case is this primarily about the relationship with math.SE Certainly the reputation of ...

8

Short answer: To be welcoming probably means to Be patient and polite when explaining the scope of the website to those who aren't very familiar with the scope of MO. Give newer members an opportunity to get involved with voting to close questions. Having only 6-7 names appearing in every closed question can be intimidating. Encourage professional ...

4

Yes, I think this could be a good thing! Tagging is often a thankless or even forgotten task. I think machine assistance can reduce the cognitive load needed for the task, hence encourage it.

16

If I may add another purpose, it would be connecting mathematicians wordlwide. It is the first time in history that mathematicians from all over the world are able to discuss in a sort of a giant tea room, where they can ask questions to colleagues in an informal way, learn some curiosity and stay up to date with fields outside their current research. This ...

3

Perhaps the following ideas are outside the scope or the original question. But in an ideal world, I think it would be useful to make the question editing window a bit more interactive for first time or beginner users. It is already the case that when you type the title of the question, the site dynamically matches the keywords in it and brings up links to ...

13

I have absolutely no knowledge or involvement with any matter involving MathOverflow governance, including the initiative described in this question. I'm commenting based on my experience with policymaking more generally, both as a creator and subject of policy. My opinion, in short, is: transparency at the early stages of the policymaking process is in ...

14

Can "Having some fun while learning some math (at the PhD level) together" be it? I bet many regular users would have that in mind when they think about MO. And it's not like we are asking for millions of dollars from the government to maintain this little corner of the internet. Most of my collaborators (over 40 at this point) are not on MO, and ...

8

I would say that the MO splash screen: answers the question: "We're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about research level mathematics." --- so this is #2 on the list. "Building a library of answers" is the scope and mission of StackExchange. I don't think any other answer to the question in the OP ...

4

Let me give some initial suggestion. (I hope that somebody proposes a better version - seeing many well-written posts both on main and on meta, clearly many MO users are able to do so.) I have tried to keep it short - after all, the window is not very big. So I did not include some suggestions from the comments - such as a note about cross-posting. I did not ...

3

This is a meta-answer, rather than an answer, but I post it here since there is no meta-meta-mathoverflow. I am not hostile to the proposition per se, but the problem is, why change mathoverflow, if we don't like how it works? Why not create a new, independent, math forum, with a completely different form, spirit, and set of features? The web is still mostly ...

14

A reasonable process for new "policies" in my view is: Moderators and the MO board (or, for that matter, anyone else) discuss and make a proposal. This proposal is discussed on Meta, so that reasonable changes can be made, and users can express their disagreement. The (amended) proposal is implemented and made effective, if the board sees it fit. ...

23

I thought I should respond too, to follow up to @Todd Trimble's reply, to try to be as clear as I think reasonable. This is not a board initiative, or an initiative of the moderators, although it arose out of many discussions of many different people over many years, including board discussions. But the board is aware of the initiative, and I believe the ...

36

The rumor "some off-site groups are seeking a private forum together with the moderators here in order to make policy for MO" is incorrect, in fact way off the mark. There aren't off-site groups knocking on the moderators' door, much less seeking to help set policy for MO. That sounds like the bubblings of some conspiracy theory. I will attempt to ...

20

I personally trust the judgement of the moderators, and would not want to prevent them from having some preliminary stage-setting discussions with other parties in private if they felt that that was appropriate. Obviously any actual change in policy will need to be discussed openly here. Anecdotally, it seems that there is a substantial class of potentially ...

6

We used to have a page about how to ask a question on MO back on MO 1.0 that was quite good. The current one is kinda crap. I would suggest bringing back the old text explaining how to ask a question on MO (maybe a summary with links for further information). That is the wisdom of the past, for all wisdom is not new wisdom. Edit: I also want to point out ...

6

Your impression is correct: users with 10k+ rep and site moderators can see deleted posts. No, it is not too late to resurrect them, unless some extraordinary action has been applied (like a lock). But you need some high-rep users to apply undelete votes. (I'm speaking here of posts deleted by the community.) Information on how deletion works is here: How ...

12

At least from the user side, there is a procedure that hasn't been listed yet: following the link to https://mathoverflow.net/contact and contacting support with "I want to report a Code of Conduct violation". This is, as far as I can tell, the procedure most clearly dedicated to preventing harassment. I don't know how these "contacts" ...

20

My apologies for being slow to respond, but I felt there should also be a response from the moderators here. MO is covered by Stack Exchange's Conduct Policy (https://meta.stackexchange.com/conduct) and has no other separate conduct policy. This policy specifically bans harassment, and empowers moderators to impose penalties, up to banning users, in ...

0

The short versions of your two suggested meanings are: $$x,y\in S,\, x<y$$ or $$y\in S,\, x<y$$ Neither require much more typing or space than the original ambiguous expresion.

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Robin Chapman was a valued contributor to MathOverflow in its early years. He passed away, unexpectedly, on 18 October 2020. An obituary can be found at the website of the Math Department at the University of Exeter. Thanks to Gerry Myerson for letting us know.

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The obvious answer: Questions and answers containing harassment can get downvoted. Posts with sufficiently many downvotes can be deleted. Questions, answers and comments containing harassment can be flagged as "rude or abusive" or for moderator attention. Then moderators can delete them. Moderators can suspend repeated offenders.

6

Yes, ambiguous notation should be avoided in places with a general audience, like journals and here on MathOverflow. It's useful to have shorthand in specific places where all readers can agree on the meaning but it is evidently incorrect to assume that everyone everywhere agrees on that same meaning.

3

Based on the feedback of the past week, I've gone ahead and created a tag (following Monroe Eskew's suggestion of "higher-order-logics" instead of "second-order-logic"). I've kept the tag description very short, and others should feel free to improve it. I'll add this tag to relevant questions over time, but only gradually to avoid ...

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