There is a considerable amount of questions of the type
Can you see if my proof/solution is correct?
My question is simple: are they on-topic?
My point is two-fold: I think they fail usefulness (and even create confusion) and may not be on-topic.
With regards to the first aspect, sometimes what happens is as follows:
- User posts this type of question, has a really convoluted solution which admits something cleaner. Now, as an "answerer", disregarding completely the user's proof (and also his question) is probably not recommended. At the same time, trying to "verify" a particular proof of a particular person for a particular purpose seems to be very... particular, and not useful in large scale. Furthermore, the result of such labour is frequently... "Yes, you are right".
Now, to the other part: The Help Center tells us that
Mathematics Stack Exchange is for people studying mathematics at any level and professionals in related fields. We welcome questions about:
- Understanding mathematical concepts and theorems.
- Mathematical problems such as one might come across in a course or textbook. (First read our how to ask a good question page.)
- Solving mathematical puzzles.
- Software that mathematicians use (except Mathematica, which has its own Stack Exchange site).
At first glance, this type of question seems to fit $1.$ But is this so? Is it really a tentative of understanding mathematical concepts and theorems? For instance, one question which I would say that satisfies the first "requirement" is this one. Now compare it with this one, and also this one.
Today, MSE seems to be disencouraging questions with a low amount of effort. I think questions of the type mentioned in this post are (almost always) a direct result of a low amount of effort: you "just" need to verify your arguments in order to know if you are right or wrong (of course, there are extreme cases where it may be not at all clear, but in most of them it is).