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One user asked a question in stackexchange which showed that person having difficulty in first year college mathematics. I explained in words, carefully avoiding symbols and giving all the idea. The person seemed to appreciate my effort but seemed to have difficulty still. I clicked on the profile to check if I have to explain at a different level. I found to my shock the person has answered question on compact Riemannian manifold. What is the best way to handle the situation?

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    $\begingroup$ There are many possible explanations, e.g. an account may have been used by more than one person (other family members, (university) roomates, etc), and some answers may be quoted from other sources, etc. I have noticed such inconsistency on many occasions. It was common on sci.math when cranks and crackpots would post answers from other sources to try to lend them some credibility (thankfully only a tiny portion appears to have migrated here). $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Apr 7 '15 at 16:59
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    $\begingroup$ If there were no mechanism for deleting answers, I think everyone who spends (too) much time on the site would would look a little bit like this (including the part where we still don't get it after an explanation). $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Apr 7 '15 at 22:06
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    $\begingroup$ I suspect (without hard evidence, though) that a few users are running paid homework websites and they are just exploiting other MSE users to do the hard work. I usually ignore such questions, but I did occasionally gave my answers because I found the questions very interesting. $\endgroup$ – user1551 Apr 8 '15 at 10:13
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    $\begingroup$ @user1551 Note that the scenario of such a paid-homework-site user would not explain why that user has answered a question on a compact Riemannian manifold. $\endgroup$ – Newb Apr 10 '15 at 8:34
  • $\begingroup$ Meanwhile I checked and the user in questioned answered very few question. The one always mentioned is a self-answered question. There is really nothing much astonishing here. $\endgroup$ – quid Apr 10 '15 at 9:48
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, sometimes a person doesn't have a particularly solid mathematical foundation; one who answers questions regarding some more complicated field might still sometimes get tripped up by some more basic mathematics (I speak from experience. :( ) $\endgroup$ – AmagicalFishy Apr 10 '15 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Newb You are right, but I didn't mean that the user mentioned by the OP is one such "suspect" --- I don't know who he/she is referring to in the first place. I only want to point out that the suspects in my list did/do post a lot of questions, some very difficult and some dead easy. In the OP's case, I agree with AmagicalFishy. $\endgroup$ – user1551 Apr 10 '15 at 12:40
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    $\begingroup$ Don't judge a book by it's cover. $\endgroup$ – RE60K Apr 13 '15 at 11:12
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    $\begingroup$ My own maths knowledge is patchy like this, much better in some areas than others. $\endgroup$ – alan2here Apr 18 '15 at 18:06
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A post should be judged on its merits. As long as there is nothing wrong with the posts themselves – you give no indication there is anything wrong with them – there is nothing to be done.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I see the point in what you say. I can understand if a person well-versed in Topic A asks a simple question in unrelated Topic B. But when a question shows the user has difficulty about the concept of inverse of a function, I am baffled. $\endgroup$ – P Vanchinathan Apr 7 '15 at 14:09
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    $\begingroup$ It is perhaps unusual. But in abstract I really do not see what should be discussed. It is not even clear what is your concern. Is it that you have doubts the answers on Riemannian manifolds are no good or that the user is somehow pulling your leg with the simple one or that different persons might share an account or still something else. $\endgroup$ – quid Apr 7 '15 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ There is also "nothing wrong" with seeking clarification of the asker's level of understanding. Once learned, the function inverse concept is probably not the sort of thing that slips ones mind. $\endgroup$ – hardmath Apr 7 '15 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Actually I frankly commented that I was confused by this apparent inconsistency. There was no response. True, looked in isolation the discussions have been professional and polite so I can't complain. But I felt vaguely uncomfortable. Thats all. Reminds me of a apocryphal story of algebraist Lasker who was also a World Chess champion. $\endgroup$ – P Vanchinathan Apr 7 '15 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ @PVanchinathan: You essentially asked OP "Given that you answered a question on a Riemannian Manifold, how can you ask something this simple?" What is OP going to say? They're stuck with a question they agree (calling it "elementary") is easy, and probably feel stupid about it to start with. I realize it was all done with good will, but sometimes even smart people get stuck with trivial issues, that's all. $\endgroup$ – gnometorule Apr 7 '15 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ It was nice discussing these things I feel better now, than when I started with and will move on. Thanks to you all for your patience. $\endgroup$ – P Vanchinathan Apr 7 '15 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ People are defending this answer the wrong way. A post should be judged on its merits simply because it's in the rules of S.E. it should be that way. $\endgroup$ – Git Gud Apr 8 '15 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ @GitGud We're thinking individuals who like to understand the rules, not merely obey them. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Andrews Apr 9 '15 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Thomas Ansrews: Very nicely expressed. $\endgroup$ – P Vanchinathan Apr 10 '15 at 9:38

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