Hot answers tagged

33

There has always been a lot of debate regarding what "research-level" actually means. It's changed a lot over time and it's inconsistent across various fields. (There is a plentiful supply of old discussions on tea.mathoverflow.net.) Here are my two cents... I've often heard "MathOverflow is like a colleague down the hall" and I've used that phrase to ...


32

As an official policy, I'd like Felipe's answer with the first sentence missing. That is to say: [W]e should avoid discussing preprints in general terms. If there is a specific question about a specific step in a proof and suitable context is given so that reading the paper is not a prerequisite, then it is on topic. This avoids getting into discussions ...


31

A scientific paper is like a politician --- much of its reputation is based on hearsay, and superficial impression, not on cold analytic examination. Very few have willingness and time to investigate thoroughly. Thus, a baseless accusation can easily ruin a reputation. So, it is important to make accusations as precise as possible. If the OP read the paper ...


25

This meta question is phrased as a general question about the appropriateness of discussing published papers on MO. That's a fair question, but I think that it's actually quite a different question from the question of whether Misha Verbitsky's question was appropriate. The paper by Gabor Etesi has a history. Namely, Verbitsky read an earlier version of ...


23

Too few users bother upvoting comments for this to make sense as a policy. In general, only very problematic or absolutely useless comments should be deleted on MathOverflow. In order for MathOverflow to have lasting academic value, the MathOverflow community should strive to maintain as accurate an historical record as possible. A perfect historical record ...


21

They should stay, as they add to the collegiality of the site. Editing them off accomplishes little beyond depersonalizing posts and cluttering the front page.


19

I'm generally sympathetic, but I'd like to wait and see whether we really do get more off-topic questions now. If there's already evidence either way, let's talk about it! In an attempt to ensure that we give migration a decent chance, could we all try to avoid deleting migrated questions for, say, at least 12 hours? UPDATE: my feeling is that there ...


18

As Gerald Edgar said, the most common reason for this situation is that the answer reveals to the OP that they posed the question in a form that did not properly capture what they intended to ask. I think that it is often OK to edit the question in this context, provided that the edited question explains the history in a clear and prominent way, with due ...


15

I don't think MO should change any policies just because we're part of a network now. Yes, we are going to get a handful of edits, flags, and otherwise suggestions from SE users which have little to no clue about MO and its community, but that shouldn't really bother anyone. MO worked out just fine, and even better than fine, and it should keep up its ...


15

I think Joseph O'Rourke meant to say something else. I will guess that something like the following is intended. MathOverflow is not a forum for judging, critiquing, or refereeing preprints or published articles. MathOverflow is for answering specific questions in mathematics, including but not limited to judging, critiquing, or refereeing a part of a ...


13

I think we can all agree that discussing crackpot preprints should be off topic. My opinion is that we should avoid discussing preprints in general terms. If there is a specific question about a specific step in a proof and suitable context is given so that reading the paper is not a prerequisite, then it is on topic. BTW: The Sha paper which I believe ...


12

This is generally a good idea, but before you waste your efforts: Migrated questions are deleted automatically after 30 days Closed, unanswered questions scoring <=0 are deleted after 9 days. (source) Save your delete votes for egregiously bad questions and questions that don't fall into the above categories.


12

It seems to me that many borderline questions can plausibly be asked to itself by a professional mathematician, but look like no effort was put in it. I feel like I can ask a colleague possibly trivial questions around a cup of tea, but I would think about the question more before asking it on MO. Often, I vote to close a question that might have been ...


12

The question if and how should Euclidean geometry be taught in high-schools is among the most crucial and interesting possible questions in the category "mathematical education." So overall I welcome such an (appropriately written/edited) question to MO.


10

All user content on MathOverflow is licensed under CC BY-SA as indicated at the bottom of each page, but the copyrights of content contributed by a user remain with the user as explained here. The Stack Exchange privacy policy applies to MathOverflow as well as every network site. The privacy policy details what information is collected from users and how ...


10

I regard the question as more suitable to MathOverflow. (It was largely answered in the comments of Federico Poloni.) The "colleague down the wall" metaphor is useful here, and we can ask ourselves a related criteria: Is this question is going to be of interest to a colleague down the hall. In this case Donoho's result is an example of something I would be ...


10

I will speak from the perspective of observer and community member. I am not and have never been part of the moderation or management team, either for MathOverflow or for any other forum on or off Stackexchange. Even so, you may find the following helpful. There are basic policies set out by Stackexchange for forum behaviour on all fora, and there are ...


8

${}$Hello everyone, I believe that greetings and thanks are forms of politeness and that removing them would appear impolite. Thank you very much for your time.


8

Sounds interesting. Be aware that the Stack Exchange Creative Commons license specifies the manner in which attribution should be made. (See the Terms of Service.) It's best not to scrape MathOverflow directly, but rather to use the Stack Exchange API. It's a relatively well designed JSON API, with a few quirks. I'm happy to answer questions via email about ...


8

I did this once and got a good answer and no close votes: Quasi-nilpotent trace class operators as limits of nilpotents But then my user name is not of the form uservwxyz. The question you mention hint OK to me, but my knowledge in number theory is at the undergraduate level.


7

I would immensely prefer if nothing were removed which is not explicitly problematic.


6

The campaign doesn’t bother me one way or the other, especially since the author was clear they were interested in arguments from both sides. But subjective, discussion-y, primarily opinion-based are things that MO (like most SE sites) has chosen to reject since the very early days — they may be interesting, on-topic, and generate good answers, but they don’...


4

While it's conceivable that having these might come in handy once or twice, I don't think you'll use them very much. Prior to coming aboard at Stack Exchange, I was a moderator on Stack Overflow for two years, and I think I used them twice, perhaps three times. It was the 'insufficient explanation' banner. The repeating scenario was basically: A very terse, ...


4

There's an extensive help system built into the site, with a directory of pages here: https://mathoverflow.net/help By default, moderators here can edit this page: https://mathoverflow.net/help/on-topic and certain sections of this one: https://mathoverflow.net/about (including the example question shown, although at the moment it hasn't quite figured out ...


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