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42

I thought the policy was the following, and I continue to think that it should be the policy: Questions asking about famous open problems are typically closed Questions that turn out to be less-famous open problems, but still well-known to experts, are answered by giving a reference to somewhere that the openness of the problem is discussed. Questions which ...


31

It seems that the moderators' opinions are not unified on this question, so I will offer my view wearing my private citizen hat. The question asks how various parameters of an apparent black hole collision were extracted from LIGO data. If we made a Venn diagram that let us sort questions by subject, I think this question would fall squarely in the "...


31

The approach which seems to be throwing every conjecture conceivable on the wall and see 'what sticks' should be discouraged, IMHO. There is also a difference between conjectures and conjectures. I think that conjectures falling under at least one of the following categories should be allowed. The conjecture feels like they have been studied before, and ...


25

The official help page at https://mathoverflow.net/help/on-topic says MathOverflow's primary goal is for users to ask and answer research level math questions, the sorts of questions you come across when you're writing or reading articles or graduate level books. To me, that seems to say clearly that a beginning graduate student reading a GTM can ...


24

IMO applied mathematics is underrepresented across disciplines.


23

I think well-formulated history questions, especially in connection with current research, were always on-topic and should be. Speaking from personal experience, I also had one, and it was well received. There is a long list of excellent historical questions on MO. I think it is more a good question-bad question problem, than a historical one.


22

I think that we should explicitly welcome open questions. I mean this, first, in a narrow sense. Namely, every mathematician hopes that the questions on which they are currently working---whether for their dissertation or a later project----is an open question. These open questions come in all types, some interesting, some difficult. Let us welcome them ...


20

"Not research-level" is not a well-defined phrase, and there is wide variance among users as to what it means. But it might mean here that the users who voted to close thought it was too easy to take seriously, or that you didn't think about it too hard, or something like that. While it is my belief that the general trend towards toward closure is pretty ...


20

My view is that what should count is the (academic/scientific interest) times (the amount of mathematics involved). So if the academic interest is huge and the mathematical component is modest we should go for it. (Perhaps even actively try to ask about mathematics angles of super major developments in other sciences.) In other words if something huge ...


18

Ergodic theory usually has several papers in Annals and Inventiones each year, and is regularly mentioned when the work of recent Fields medalists is described (e.g. Avila, Lindenstrauss, Mirzakhani) but I think that there are no more than ten ergodic theorists who contribute regularly to MathOverflow. Here is a nice statistic: since MathOverflow opened, ...


18

The purpose of MathOverflow is to serve as a resource for professional mathematicians. If we allowed questions of any level, the vast majority of questions would be low-level questions (as is the case on MSE). As a result, it would be harder for research-level questions to get noticed and answered by the right people, and many mathematicians would be less ...


18

I find it difficult to understand many of the comments and concerns that this question seems to have raised. The site has a fairly simple and well established procedure for closing/keeping open questions: five votes to close, five to reopen, five more to close and so on. In situations where reasonable people can disagree, this seems a perfectly fine way ...


17

In addition to my comment that the thread is too "discussion-y" (meaning too opinion or speculation driven), my feeling about this question is that there is probably no one in our community who can render an expert opinion on the matter based on demonstrable facts. It's all just speculation and "this is what I guess" about the matter, or even sentiments ...


16

In my view, your questions are at a good level for MO. A good indication of this is that (as you implicitly point out) you're getting lots of upvotes but almost no answers on MSE. I like the detail you put into your questions, and I think that will go down well. If you're asking questions as a result of going through textbooks and getting stuck, probably ...


12

One potential problem with the "each topic in the right forum" position is that different forums are frequented by different communities. I expect that many more research mathematicians are likely to see a question posted on MathOverflow than one posted on Academia.SE. So if you want them to be able to answer the question and to benefit from the answer, ...


9

I think what my new downvoting friends were trying to say, is that there exists a stackexchange site for non-research MATH questions here: https://math.stackexchange.com/ I was not aware that this site exists and will now attempt to ask all my questions there. I am more than happy to avoid asking myself if questions are research-level, despite being ...


8

The reddit website has several forums dedicated to mathematics. The main math forum has a large audience but there are several others subs such as /r/learnmath, /r/homeworkhelp, /r/cheatatmathhomework, /r/askmath, /r/MathHelp which are somehow more "finegrained" than mathoverflow/mathstackexchange. See this link for an extensive list of subreddits dealing ...


8

EDIT: As quid noted in the comments, the details of the academic hiring process below describe the US market. The European one is somewhat different (especially as regards to dates; their deadlines seem to me to be all over the place), and mathjobs is used less often there. I know nothing about the Asian market. I don't think such a site would be useful. ...


8

I don't think the quantity of conjectures is the problem so much as the rate and the perception generated. For the cases that motivated this question, I agree some improvement could occur. One improvement would be to ask for references or new pointers to the literature. The next would be to add some references to what is known (by authors distant from the ...


6

It will appear soon that I was the commenter ;) My view is that by keeping topics separate on separate forums it is easier to find the answer, but that indeed presupposes the role of each site to be well defined. I believe it is, as per the guidelines in the FAQ, although they may (happily) be marginally read differently. So as to make myself clear: in my ...


6

How about art of problem solving? http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/index.php? I saw a lot of hard problems there but somehow i would hesitate to post such ones to MO. My feeling is that this site is in between MO and Math.SE.


5

Instead of using MO to publicize conjectures, I think it is now more appropriate to use other platforms that more specifically caters to this need. I immediately thought of SciLag upon seeing this Meta post. From SciLag's introductory page: SciLag is a free web-based platform that provides tools for mathematicians to collaboratively build a dynamic ...


4

With Keith Kearnes participating on MathOverflow (and hopefully asking questions soon), I am confident that Universal Algebra will be represented to my satisfaction. Taking that personal perspective as a benchmark, I turn to the Tags page and note that the universal-algebra tag has been used 20 times this year for questions. I suggest that any tag that a) ...


3

I believe the best that can be hoped for is a consensus among individuals. It is not clear by any means what the precise scope of this forum is, and even an imprecise scope will change in rough correspondence with community desires. For this particular question, I suspect it deals with the mathjobs website and its workings, which may be good and useful ...


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