I recently answered the question which may be found here:

Power series solution of homogeneous differential equation .

However, shortly after submitting the answer it is very clear that there are mathematical mistakes. The question is then, should I delete my answer?

The obvious and natural response is to just fix it, but at this stage, I feel like the reader already has more than a reasonable guideline to help them solve the problem. To fix it is for me to go back spend a fair bit of time recalculating a bunch of arbitrary coefficients for the reader.

I am very much an amateur at mathematics. If fixing this and even providing a complete solution should be fast, it is certainly not going to be for me. I am slow.

I hope this doesn't fly in the face of some of the great help and patience I've received so far, but I would rather delete my answer than sit for an hour (or more, like I said, I am slow) rearranging terms of a recurrence relation and making sure all my fractions add up when I gain no personal enjoyment out of it.

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    $\begingroup$ If you intend to edit your answer, I suggest you make a quick temporary edit saying that your answer is under revision. This way no one will be misled by any mistakes you have made. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2014 at 2:41
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    $\begingroup$ I went ahead and corrected the errors in your post--it should be undelete-safe. :) $\endgroup$
    – apnorton
    Dec 14, 2014 at 2:50

2 Answers 2


You are in no way obligated to do work you don't want to. Certainly, editing your answer is beneficial to the community, but you haven't done harm if you delete it - it'll just end up back in the unanswered pile and if someone else feels like answering it, they will. (And Did already did that)

I didn't see the actual answer before you deleted it, but from your description, it might've been appropriate to make it clear that there was a computation error in your answer; as long as your method of solution is correct, the answer still has value as the reader may be able to follow through with the correct computations. Really, your only obligation is to ensure that the answer is not misleading, and this does not necessarily require redoing incorrect computations.


Since you have the only answer, I would think fixing the mistakes would be the most beneficial to the community. By deleting your answer, future readers will be deprived of the same insight you gave the OP. However, if you don't fix the problem, someone else will need to post an answer or else the question wont be of any benefit to anyone else viewing the question.


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