Todd Trimble
Moderator
  • Member for 12 years, 3 months
  • Last seen this week
Asking questions with out answering any one else’s question
Accepted answer
62 votes

It's fine in my opinion just to ask and not answer questions, and conversely I think it's fine just to answer and and not ask questions. In time you will probably acquire enough knowledge to feel ...

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On the role of anonymity in a site dedicated to research-level mathematics
56 votes

Here is a past discussion on pseudonyms from MO.1 days: http://mathoverflow.tqft.net/discussion/335/1/why-not-real-names/. I think most of the arguments (pro or con) would still apply to MO.2. (This ...

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MathOverflow policymaking and transparency
40 votes

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 ...

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Deleted answered question / arXiv posts based on unacknowledged MO posts
34 votes

While I'm not a lawyer, the part that was until recently unsettled, namely the use of answers in an arXiv preprint without proper attribution, falls squarely under the terms of the Creative Commons ...

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Why all the negativity?
34 votes

Erin, I'm sorry to hear you've found MO so negative in tone. There are a number of issues that have been brought up, both in the post and in comments, that might be useful to tease apart. Let me ...

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Flood of Similar New User(s)
32 votes

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 ...

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Why was this question about axiom of choice and the Wiles's proof of FLT deleted?
32 votes

As François points out in his MO comment on the deleted question, and as noted by Andy above, the same question was asked on MSE - math.stackexchange.com/questions/618147. Currently the question is ...

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2021 Moderator election: suggestions for nominees?
31 votes

Martin Sleziak would also be a fantastic addition to the moderator team. And so would David Speyer and Will Sawin.

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Using Math Overflow to check whether or not a proof is correct
30 votes

The thread http://mathoverflow.tqft.net/discussion/973/where-is-the-hole-in-my-proof/ -- and related discussions linked to from that thread -- are sort of relevant to precedents and consensus-forming ...

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Should we have new moderator elections?
Accepted answer
26 votes

This is what I wrote (with slight edits) at the MO chatroom: I guess I should mention that I am often in contact with my fellow moderators, especially when a sticky situation arises that I'm not sure ...

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If I see spam together with mathematical content in an answer, should I edit out the spam?
26 votes

The answer is 'no', essentially always. Spam is one of the worst abuses of the system and we want to prune it out on the spot. The usual recourse for a site moderator is to destroy the account ...

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How can a nonacademic with research level questions know which questions are research level?
Accepted answer
26 votes

The question is probably, "how can I tell if my own questions are 'research level', given the fact I am not an academic?" I think a generally healthy attitude to have in this situation is that you ...

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Spam / Crank users
Accepted answer
25 votes

Rest assured that the moderators are well aware of this user and his sockpuppets. I have now placed this question under protection so that these entities cannot post further nonsense. The usual ...

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Deleted posts visible to high reputation users
Accepted answer
24 votes

First of all, all of us make mistakes and you need not be more than mildly embarrassed by past errors. The user with the most reputation points on the site, Joel David Hamkins, has also deleted on ...

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VIndictive downvoting--what can be done about such childishness, errh, lack of professionalism?
24 votes

Tom: after checking tools available to moderators, I see no evidence of systematic downvoting from any particular user. So at the moment I don't see evidence of downvoting that looks 'vindictive'. I ...

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Lots of non research-level questions
Accepted answer
24 votes

I feel your pain. :-) But as for the first question, I would say no. For example, it happens sometimes that strong mathematicians decide to post to MO for the first time, and your suggestion would not ...

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asking questions outside of field of expertise
24 votes

No, of course you should be able to ask questions in areas where you are not expert: that is in large part the point of MO, or is supposed to be the point! There is however usually an implicit ...

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Does the point system encourage flooding the site with questions?
24 votes

I don't see a problem with the system. It seems to me that any abuse of the system is by far the exception, not the rule. We need to be as encouraging as possible of the asking of good questions. A ...

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What to do with a question answered in pieces?
Accepted answer
23 votes

One thing I've seen done in this situation -- and it may be the best option under the circumstances -- is to summarize all the answers in one master answer yourself. I would write it anew (without ...

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MathOverflow user jailed
23 votes

As I mentioned in one of my comments, I wrote a Turkish academic in the United States who is close to this issue, and she kindly responded thus: Dear Todd (if I may), I just received the ...

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Celebrity usernames
22 votes

I brought this up with the moderation team in email; I haven't heard back explicitly from everyone, but have an idea where most of us stand. For now no official action will be taken. Putting aside ...

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Should the rules for deleting own questions be modified? - an example
Accepted answer
21 votes

There are few things on MO more annoying than posting an answer and then seeing that answer deleted before it even had a chance to be seen (except by the account that asked the question). All that ...

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What does research-level mathematics mean?
Accepted answer
21 votes

To me, your question looks quite acceptable for MO. "Research-level" is a slightly awkward shorthand and shouldn't be taken too literally. I like to picture the typical intended user of MO as one ...

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Would newly elected moderators join the board of MathOverflow Inc.?
20 votes

The members of the MO board are the six current moderators, Anton Geraschenko, and Ravi Vakil. Whoever becomes a moderator becomes a member of that board.

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How the moderators/admin decide the significance/research orientation of any question before closing it? is it intuitive to them?
20 votes

StackExchange sites work on the basis of community moderation: as a user gains reputation through upvoted questions and answers, moderation powers increase: https://mathoverflow.net/help/privileges. ...

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Research-level mathematics
20 votes

"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 ...

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Why do non-research and soft questions get closed if and only if the poster lacks high reputation?
Accepted answer
20 votes

One could definitely argue that Peter Dukes has a point here. I recall one famous case, involving a post by Bill Thurston, who posted a "soft question" Thinking and Explaining. The question got a very ...

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Are Links to Articles Behind a Paywall Acceptable Answers?
19 votes

Sometimes I see an answer in the form David Roberts mentioned, the entirety of which is "See theorem 6.3 on page 357 of [1]" linking to an article paywall or to a vendor of a book, and it will be ...

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Rationale for moderator deletion of a non-spammy, off-topic question
Accepted answer
18 votes

There's no clear-cut controversy here: five users closed this as not suitable for this site, then the OP asked to have it deleted, and this was done via two votes (Stefan Kohl being the second). The ...

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Humans, Go, Computers, Math
17 votes

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 ...

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