29

I think the US-style culture war is moving to Math and STEM fields. Looking at what happened in the social sciences, I can not say I am optimistic about the future, especially since mathematicians are not very well-equipped to deal with topics with such complex historical and social layers. As with most wars, there will be fanatics, heroes, tragic figures ...


16

Allowing these sorts of questions would be a significant increase in scope for the site, and I don't think we're prepared to handle it. The basic question for me is: what sorts of disputes are likely to arise within a given scope or set of rules, and what skills are required to resolve those disputes? For a site like this that depends a lot on community ...


15

Cross-posting is discouraged in general, because it can lead to duplication of effort by people answering on different sites. However, it is appropriate under some circumstances. Most of the advice discussed by Joonas Ilmavirta in the context of cross-posting to Math Stack Exchange is applicable in general. To quote Joonas, if you're considering cross-...


13

The judgment of whether a question is considered on-topic or not for MO is made by individual MO users. If a question is closed but other users disagree with the reasons for closure, the latter may cast votes to reopen. But there is no blanket answer to your first question. The individuals who voted to close may or may not give their explicit reasons. You ...


11

No, it isn't. What kind of questions can I ask here? MathOverflow's primary goal is for users to ask and answer mathematical questions related to current research in mathematics. These can be questions that arise when you are working on or preparing to work on a mathematical research-problem, but they also may be questions that you come across when you are ...


9

I think some political discussion is appropriate here. For instance, I thought "how to accelerate progress in mathematical research" was a good question. As one commentator pointed out, "any serious answer would inevitably touch political and ideological issues"; and I agree: politics is relevant to some questions about mathematical ...


8

I personally have nothing against political discussions as long as they do not degenerate into pointless accusations and refusing to deal with a person holding an opposite point of view, whatever this opposite point of view may be. If everybody remembers that while we are bound by the laws of the countries we live in and should try to exhibit some common ...


8

Though I haven't technically asked a single off-topic question yet, I theoretically could have, because, due to my familiarity with Wikipedia policies forbidding original research (from whose mathematical reference desk I eventually found my way here, and onto the related Math.SE site), I misinterpreted the wording describing site policies as meaning that ...


6

I think it’s very helpful to compare with academia.stackexchange, where career advice questions are a much larger part of the site’s scope. There are plenty of examples there showing that that career advice questions/answers can be very useful indeed, when done well. However, the “limited generalisability” concerns Tim Campion raises here are certainly ...


5

When I type "ask a math question" into Google (incognito mode), MathOverflow is the second link. Of course, Google tailors results to my past search history, but I would wager that this is a significant source of new users. SE spends a lot of time and energy on search engine optimization, so this is no surprise. Then, users are presented with this ...


5

I think career advice questions can be valuable. You make valid points about pitfalls, but I think a good way to address them would be to have some guidelines for people answering these questions: Base answers on your direct experiences, or experiences of people you know well (such as your students) Use comments to ask for information that would be relevant ...


5

I don't want to say anything too sweeping, but here's my perspective on the discussion of the last few days: Martin Hairer's question was on-topic. David White's answer was on-topic. The ensuing discussion in the comments, was quite long, and appropriately moved to two chatrooms. I think it's valuable for us to have these kind of conversations on MO from ...


1

I cannot judge right now the merits or demerits of the specific book you mention. Joonas Ilmavirta addresses in their answer whether your question is appropriate and contains some remarks about the book's claims. The term nonlinear algebra has been used by others though. See, for instance, the draft text by Michalek & Sturmfels, the research group at MPI ...


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