Are mathematics at the level of elementary school(i.e. mostly arithmetic) not welcome on this site? Previously I posted an addition problem and show my attempt/effort but the question got deleted in 10 minutes and I don't know why. Could someone please explain?


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    $\begingroup$ The SE site has a minimum age requirement (14 IIRC?). I would think that has, as a corollary, some lower bound to the level of questions. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 6:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Jyrki, the terms of service say, "Subscriber certifies to Stack Exchange that Subscriber is an individual (i.e., not a corporate entity) at least 13 years of age." $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 6:56
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    $\begingroup$ I beleive the "addition problem" in question was math.stackexchange.com/questions/1792487/… (where OP says it took three hours to do four addition problems, each involving two- or three-digit numbers). $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 7:01
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    $\begingroup$ More especially the Question concerns how to multiply $37 \times 29$ by repeated addition. The "four addition problems" noted by @GerryMyerson got the OP as far as $37 \times 5$. To me it is reasonable to recast this Question as a problem about what more effective procedure will multiply integers of this "size". $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    May 20, 2016 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ Nothing less than IUTT is allowed on here. $\endgroup$
    – user223391
    May 20, 2016 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Zachary, Google says IUTT is an international futsal tournament for university students. iutt.nl $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ @gerrymyerson en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inter-universal_Teichm%C3%BCller_theory $\endgroup$
    – user223391
    May 20, 2016 at 22:49

1 Answer 1


If your question can be answered by this

a four-function calculator

it is of no value to this site.

(This answer only provides a lower bound, not a greatest lower bound.)

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    $\begingroup$ I am not sure I agree. This question (the one related to "Mental Arithmetic. In the Public School of S. Rachinsky." can be answered by calculator, but I think that it was very well received and it is useful for the site. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ Similarly, I do not see any problem with question of the type: "How do I calculate $26\times135$ by hand. Although in this case, I definitely prefer this question understood in a general way. (I.e., asking what is the algorithms to do this type of computations as opposed to asking what is the result specifically for the given numbers. But answers to question about specific numbers can also illustrate the general algorithm.) $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 9:23
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Wasn't the point of that question to solve it without using a calculator? This makes it quite different, I think. I mean, I can ask a calculator to compute $\int_{-\infty}^\infty e^{-x^2} dx$, and it will spit out 1.772... or even $\sqrt\pi$ if it's sophisticated enough. That's not interesting, and if all you want is the numerical value, then math.SE isn't the right place. But the interesting part of the question is precisely how to do it without the calculator. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 9:26
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak When the precise questions asked (omitting only the claimed "personal effort" context) are "$37\times29=?$" and "$15+16=?$" (the latter being "two huge numbers"), I'm more inclined to start looking underneath bridges. Furthermore, these specific questions will not have any value for future readers because who the hell is going to come here looking for those precise calculations and hoping to find general algorithms? $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    May 20, 2016 at 9:36
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    $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi That's basically what I wrote in my previous comment. I think that even things which can be computed by calculator or CAS, can be suitable questions for MSE. arjafi: The questions posted by the OP on the main might in fact be trolling (it is not easy to say). But since this question on meta and your answer are about this type of questions in general, the comment I gave was also intended to be about such question in general. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak And in general I'll stand by this: if a question as phrased can be exactly answered by a basic four-function calculator, it doesn't belong on the site. The last thing we need is a glut of questions like "What is 42 ÷ 3?", "What is 285 – 262?", "What is 255 ÷ 17?", "What is 12 x 40?", "What is 17 x 97?", "What is 792 – 339?", "What is 658 + 478?", "What is 408 ÷ 24?", "What is 540 ÷ 27?", "What is 252 + 62?", "What is 919 – 603?", "What is 416 ÷ 32?", "What is 10 x 79?", "What is 989 – 537?", etc. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    May 20, 2016 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ Reading your last comment, it seems that we more-or-less agree. In any case, we can continue this discussion in chat, if needed. So that we do not add too many comments here. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ On the other hand, @arjafi, "What is $342-173$" inspired this: youtube.com/watch?v=wIWaJ0sy03g $\endgroup$ May 20, 2016 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ I think that it should be pointed out that the calculator in the picture can only do simple arithmetic. Evaluating an integral is certainly on-topic, and calculators that can input integrals, for example, can be used to answer those questions. $\endgroup$
    – ahorn
    May 24, 2016 at 14:15

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