You could say I'm partially (or entirely?) to blame for this for not having done enough research beforehand. However...

A while back I wondered if there were a math-related site on the StackExchange network. So I typed mathematics.stackexchange.com into my browser's address bar and was promptly redirected to Math Overflow.

I soon discovered that I do not really belong on that website due to its graduate/research-level nature.

This was really not such a big deal; but the URL redirect that initially led me to MO in the first place had now led me to believe that MO was the math-related SE site.

Only some time later did I learn that, in fact, math.stackexchange.com is the general-purpose (not graduate/research-level only) SE site for math.

Given the similarity in the URLs, it's quite conceivable to me that I may have never discovered that this site (math.stackexchange.com) even existed.

Is there any way that navigating to either mathematics.stackexchange.com or math.stackexchange.com could notify the user of the other site's existence, with a brief 1- or 2-sentence explanation of the difference between them?

I realize MO is not a part of the SE network, so this would likely require coordination with them. Still, it seems worth doing (to me), to avoid potential/inevitable confusion or even, in the worst case, the loss of a potential user.

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    $\begingroup$ If instead of guessing web addresses you had Googled mathematics stackexchange, I believe you would have found this site. I don't think that going to math.stackexchange.com should come with any notification, but I also don't think there would be any loss in having mathematics.stackexchange.com give information on both sites. I doubt any users of MathOverflow actually use the stackexchange address to get there (rather than mathoverflow.net). Note that the FAQ of each site directs to the other. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ Why does mathematics.stackexchange.com redirect to MathOverflow, anyway? $\endgroup$
    – user856
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ Hum, actually, I would favour having mathematics.stackexchange.com set to here. The UK spelling maths.stackexchange already redirects to here, I think the mathematics.stackexchange.com thing is probably just a DNS relic from before math.SE was alive. Let me double check with Anton to see if he has a problem with that. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ Also, I actually don't think it will require too much coordinate with MO if the SE team really wants to change it. Afterall, they do own the stackexchange domain and the redirect to MO is at the DNS level. (IIRC they are also hosting MO too, so...) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ tea.mathoverflow.net/discussion/919/… $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Jonas: I get what you're saying (and admitted it's basically my fault in the question); my only response would be that the URL redirect implicitly acknowledges the possibility of "URL-guessing" as a valid means of site discovery. As for whether users of MO use the stackexchange address to get there: doesn't that also kind of support my suggestion? If nobody over there's going to use it, but some people who want to end up here might use it... seems like it should point here (or at least inform the user that "here" exists). $\endgroup$
    – Dan Tao
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Dan Tao: I agree. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ I changed the title in view of the comments above and Anton's answer below. I hope this will make it more eye-catching for the SO admins. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie: For something this specific, it might be worth an email to Robert or whoever else has been the email-point-of-contact at SOIS for the current moderators. $\endgroup$
    – Isaac
    Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


Back in the SE 1.0 days, when you set up a new SE site, you could use any available domain of the form *.stackexchange.com. I expected MO would be the unique mathematics-related SE site, so I used mathematics.stackexchange.com.

As the MO admin, I have no way to change this, but presumably it wouldn't be difficult for the good folks of SO Inc. to point mathematics.stackexchage.com here and have something like mathoverflow.stackexchange.com point to MO. If this can be done completely non-disruptively, I hereby grant permission to do this. If there's anything else I can do to help (either practically or legally), please contact me.

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    $\begingroup$ thanks Anton -- appreciated! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 22:23

This is now complete from a DNS perspective. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, and thanks to Anton for letting us use the redirect!

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    $\begingroup$ Out of curiosity, am I correct that there is currently no *.stackexchange.com address pointing to MO? I vaguely thought it might be necessary for some technical reason, but perhaps not. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 7:02
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    $\begingroup$ @anton there is no technical reason, no $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 9:15

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