44

Upvote this answer if you think we should ask StackExchange to allow us to opt out of the "hot list". (I'm adding this answer because it was not clear what an upvote to the main question would mean.)


44

I'll go against my best judgement and will reply to this with my own perception. First of all, the best thing would be to ask graduate students directly. I don't know if there are any active efforts of trying to understand the phenomenon you describe, I don't know who would have to run such efforts in any case. But the thing is that what I've seen so far in ...


39

It depends. I think we don't want to be welcoming with a new user posting "plz solve teh linear algebra homework <see photo>". These questions deserve to be closed and downvoted into oblivion; they should not have been posted here in the first place, the user did not bother to read any instructions, and we don't have any interest in keeping them here. ...


32

With regard to Gerhard's response -- which I agree with -- I see a number of things problematic in some of the behavior taking place in the present circumstances. I have no doubt that behind these numerous accounts is only a very small group of humans, and there's a very good chance it's just one. In other words, I am finding very clear evidence, using the ...


24

Upvote this answer if you think we should ask StackExchange to allow us to opt out of the "association bonus".


18

Pre-moderation is a tempting idea but there are a few potential issues with it: It's very unusual for a site like MathOverflow to introduce a delay before posting. Such barriers are likely to decrease site usage across the board. It's not clear that pre-moderation is a sustainable model for a large volume site like MathOverflow. I am not aware of any ...


17

In the early days of MathOverflow we invested quite some time emailing users asking if they'd consider using their real names. I think the reasons for wanting real names are as strong as ever. Writing emails doesn't directly address the problem for new users, but was very effective at reaching the present state where most of our most active users are using ...


17

What do you think about the idea of further restrictions to voting? We could require 50 reputation and at least one question or answer with positive votes. This would nullify the effects of "association bonus" on voting but it would keep its other benefits.


16

I think there are contrasting goals within the group of long term members (the established MathOverflow community, say those who have been posting five years or more to pick an arbitrary division) and thus the lessons (if any) to be learned are different for different members. I believe that the forum needs to grow (possibly with some cultural change, ...


16

I think one of the key issues here is in the comments between fedja and Todd Trimble, and I want to elaborate with it. If someone asks you a question, and you know the answer, and can explain it quickly, it's almost always impolite to not say the answer. On the other hand, many MO users (including me) are uncomfortable answering certain questions. Of ...


12

I don't believe MO can do anything to make most grad students comfortable posting here. It wouldn't be compatible with the culture of the site or how its users see it (and some of the comments on this topic and in the linked posts make this point rather blatantly). Speaking as someone who has used MO intermittently almost since its inception but ...


10

These are rough numbers, I'm afraid - I'm combining data from Google Analytics and our internal event tracking system, so there's a reasonable chance we're measuring slightly different things. Hopefully, this is sufficient to give you a rough comparison: In the past 30 days, MathOverflow has seen: 26,189 visits from Mathematics Stack Exchange 10,386 visits ...


9

Do(es)n’t said user(s) simply exploit the loophole once detected by @MattF. (newly created accounts can spend the association bonus on bounties), and wouldn’t that part be solved by following his then-suggestion (make the “set bounties” privilege higher than 101)?


9

I believe that I can give a partial answer to your question. Looking at some of the profiles that you have listed, they seem to be all unregistered users. I used to do something similar (but with only 4-5 names) in 2012, at my beginnings on MO: not in bad faith, but because I was viewing my asking questions on MO as only a temporary thing. Plus, I was ...


9

Interesting topic. Good thread. I have been here only a month, and so far I find these forums to be a terrific resource. I'm not seeing how a forum such as MO (or to a lesser extent MSE) even could be able to stay the way it is without some harsh screening. THAT SAID, no one can know everything about math, although sometimes we all feel that we need to. ...


9

This is a very difficult question. However, I think that we could attract more graduate students (actually, more people in general) following three lines of action. Many of these things have been already said by a number of people in previous comments and answers, however I think it may be useful to collect them here. Clarity and guidance: it is important ...


7

There are people persons. There are professional mathematicians. Some people are both. I suspect very few attend this forum regularly. (I guess a notable person among this few is Anton Geraschenko.) This small collection are the most likely to greet and direct newcomers properly. I see myself as neither a people person nor a professional mathematician. ...


7

I'm writing this answer as a (pseudo)-grad student who is comfortable using the site, having no real publications or positions under my belt. Disclaimer: Generally I try to avoid using the pronoun 'I' excessively in MO posts because it distracts from the mathematical content of the post, but I will be abusing it in this post and writing in a more informal ...


6

I think it is reasonable to be concerned, if only for the fact that we do not know what the ramifications of this behaviour are. However, I think it is better to describe the behaviour and call out what might be problematic about the behaviour. Right now, it seems we are getting OK to good quality material for the forum, and we have the ability to improve ...


6

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. In this particular case, I had deleted the question by mistake. Someone had flagged this question/answer as suspicious, and I came to it right after working on some flags about actual sockpuppets and trolls. I have reversed the deletion.


6

Maybe we could go in a similar way as on Mathematics where the How to Ask page1 is shown to a user who asks their first question. But on Mathematics the How to Ask page is slightly modified to include some additional points at the beginning. The relevant discussion on Mathematics Meta can be found here: Show “how to ask” advice before a new user asks a ...


5

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 ...


5

I think the software limitations are a big part of the problem. In particular, how comments are integrated with questions and answers. The comments appear to give an opportunity for people to have a conversation, but this is discouraged. Trying to have a conversation and getting shut down is not welcoming. The chat feature is not threaded, and so it ...


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