This is the my first time posting here, the reason is that a few days ago I asked this question. Although I got 2 upvotes no one answered anything, I'm usually very disciplined on how and what I can ask on the site (well, I'm just saying I'm careful, not perfect), so I don't understand why nobody has answered, I'm concerned that this is my fault, maybe my question wasn't as well based or written, maybe it needs to be improved, what can you guys tell me?
Thank you.

EDIT: If anybody keeps track: I just edited my question, I hope is better this time :)

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Maybe the upvotes are from people who can appreciate the good formulation of the question, and the interesting content, but aren't up to answering such maths history questions. Like myself. Some questions are (very) good, but hard to answer -- it happens sometimes. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Sep 16, 2013 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin really? I never thought something like that would ever happen to me, I'm usually very clumsy, so I tend to think it's my fault. $\endgroup$
    – Ana Galois
    Sep 16, 2013 at 20:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Ana, I did not see your question until yesterday, when I learned about it by reading this question of yours in Meta. I managed to find some information about John Colson's paper in my stuff at home, and I just finished typing an answer in reply to your question about John Colson's paper. $\endgroup$ Sep 18, 2013 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ @DaveL.Renfro Thank you so much for taking the time to writing this :) $\endgroup$
    – Ana Galois
    Sep 18, 2013 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ I'm honestly not sure what your question is. You're asking if Colson should be considered "a hero" of the emancipation of algebra from geometry? $\endgroup$
    – Jack M
    Sep 19, 2013 at 23:09

3 Answers 3


I personally have the math-history tag favourited as I enjoy reading the questions and answers that tend to come with such questions. I'll normally upvote any well-thought, well-researched question no matter how well I can answer it. That being said, I normally can't contribute to math-history questions as I've received very little education in the subject. I have a feeling that others are in a similar position. Personally I think it's a great question and I learnt a lot just from reading the context you provided.

I'd strongly encourage you to keep thinking, keep reading, and hopefully keep asking well-thought questions on the site.


My critique:

Your question is a little unclear. In the middle, you're comparing the cubic formula that Colson came up with to De Moivre, but you don't actually include his approach, so those of us (e.g. me) who have never heard of Colson are lost at this point. Then at the end, you seem to be asking if this guy was a good mathematician, which of course is a subjective question (and would probably be closed if the rest weren't included). You should revise the question to include a reasonably detailed description of Colson's approach, and then state precisely what it is you want us to answer the end. Personally, I like to highlight the "punchline" of the question using a > so that it's clear what exactly I want a response to.

Word of warning, though: don't be surprised if you still don't get an answer even if you do this. Math history isn't as well represented on MSE as, say, first year calculus. But it's worth a shot.

  • $\begingroup$ well, english is not my first language, I didn't knew I was comparing Colson to De Moivre, that wasn't my intention at all, what I wanted to say is that they were contemporary, actually I found that his paper was published in 1706, and De Moivre's in 1722. But I agree, i'll changed it, although it might be a longer question than I thought, should I post a new one? $\endgroup$
    – Ana Galois
    Sep 16, 2013 at 20:14
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @AnaGalois I'd just edit it. By the way, I think your question is already good. These are only suggestions to improve it. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Sep 16, 2013 at 23:21

Besides what other people already said, keep in mind that yours is a kind of soft question which is not really easy to answer. I think it's no chance that even now there are comments and not answers: some clarification can be added, but they won't count as a real answer, so they stay there.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I understand that, but the discussion that we can get from there will be golden, and that's also kind of what I wanted, that's why I was afraid that nobody would answer :) $\endgroup$
    – Ana Galois
    Sep 18, 2013 at 22:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .