# What is the appropriate way to post conjectures on Math.SE

My hobby is to seach for closed forms of integrals that cannot be evaluated by modern CAS like Maple or Mathematica.

Sometimes I can intuitively find the right way to transform the integral and can get the result with a rigorous proof. More often, I start from guessing a closed form using different tools:

If an integral is parameterized, I iterate through several fixed values of a parameter (often, integers) and try to guess a closed form for each of them. If this approach succeeds, I can get a list of conjectured values, that may show an obvious pattern. More often though, the pattern is non-obvious, but can be discovered using tools like

Then I can assume that the found expression is valid not only at integer values it originated from, but for arbitrary complex or real values in a certain interval, and it also can be differentiated or integrated w.r.t the parameter (when the original integrand is also transformed in a corresponding way). Sometimes numerical checks reject this assumption, but they also may support it with hundrends or throusands digits of precision.

In the latter case I try to find a rigorous proof of the found conjectural closed form (because, obviously, I obtained it with completely heuristic and non-rigorous methods). But "knowing" the result is often helpful when looking for a right approach to prove it.

Sometimes all my attempts to prove the identity failed, but all numerical methods still do strongly support it, and I wish to share my conjecture with other people, in hope they could prove it or provide some useful ideas. I feel that math.stackexchange.com is a good place to post my conjectures. I have done it several times, but every time I felt somewhat uneasy, felt that I owe some explanations. But I cannot possibly post dozens of pages of work that led me to the final conjecture every time.

I am asking for your advice, what is the best way to post my conjectures, without saying too much words for introductions, but to attract people's attention and make the problem interesing for them?

• For me it would be enough if you just posted a formula, stated it was a conjecture, and asked for help. If it within my area of interests and expertise, I would try to prove it. Oct 5, 2013 at 18:19
• In addition to the suggestions by Oksana, I suggest to add a brief account of what you tried. Some partial results, numerical approaches, generalisations thereof that failed, approaches that failed. This prevents precious duplication of work and shows that you care about the problem. It may also provide some leads for others to follow up on. I feel that questions phrased that way will have an excellent reception on MSE. Oct 5, 2013 at 19:45
• In my opinion, m.se is not for posting conjectures. But you could post a reference request. "I have heuristic evidence that $\int\cos x\,dx=\sin x+C$; does anyone know a reference in the literature to this integral?" Oct 6, 2013 at 0:48
• Your questions are always interesting, by the way. You may consider adding a comment at the end, pointing to this question, so people may get some additional context, if you feel it may be relevant, but too distracting to include in the body of the question. Oct 6, 2013 at 6:52
• I take it the conjectures concern definite integrals rather than indefinite integrals? Oct 6, 2013 at 20:07
• (Examples of potentially relevant context: Has the accuracy of your computations been verified? How? Are there similar closed form expressions in the literature? If so, why are the techniques used to established those not sufficient here?) Oct 6, 2013 at 21:27

I think such a question is perfectly appropriate for math.se. Those who don't appreciate such open-ended question can always ignore the conjectures tag.