Are these types of questions appropriate?

  • In which syllabus in the U.S. Can the Poisson Distribution Formula be found?
  • Why is technique $A$ not in Qualification $B$?

And similar questions?

  • 11
    $\begingroup$ If you are asking these questions from the angle of an educator, then it should go to math educators.SE. If you are asking the first question from the angle of a student, then it falls under "seeking personal advice" and is off-topic on math.SE. Not sure about the second question but I think it is also off-topic. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2017 at 22:57
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Syllabus for what? A syllabus is a guide for a class. So, you are basically asking for a class that teaches the Poisson Distribution formula. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    May 20, 2017 at 21:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck A syllabus is the requirement for a certain qualification. And that is an example question $\endgroup$
    – Xetrov
    May 20, 2017 at 21:59
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ A syllabus is an overview, and in a mathematical context almost always an overview of a math course. A requirement for a qualification is something else. But even so, "in which requirement can the Poisson distribution be found" assumes that you're looking at something more specific that you've not mentioned. Are you looking at exams for certifications (actuarial, perhaps)? In that case, I think you would want "exams" instead of "syllabus" or "qualification". Bottom line: your questions are missing some context. $\endgroup$
    – Teepeemm
    May 21, 2017 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


For the first example question, it sounds as though you are asking others to search the internet for you. That doesn't seem particularly interesting, so (for instance) I wouldn't answer such a question. For the second question, it sounds like you're asking us why someone elsewhere made some subjective decision. There generically isn't a best way to create a syllabus, so I don't expect such a question to have a good answer.

There may be questions related to syllabi that are appropriate on some of the StackExchange sites, though.

For example, you could ask for resources to learn or study about topics included on a syllabus here. Of course, usually a syllabus will also include some underlying textbooks or sets of notes, so this isn't yet a good question. But suppose you saw a syllabus for a first modern number theory class that references Ireland&Rosen's introductory book, and you tried to learn about the Euclidean Algorithm from this book... but didn't understand. Now this leads to a good question for this site: an actionable, precise question about a topic that you're trying to understand.

From an educator's perspective, it may be appropriate to ask about the content of syllabi. This general topic sounds like it would be a better fit for MathEducators.SE (which I'm not particularly familiar with, but I suspect questions of this sort arise there).

Your second question sounds either very precise or very subjective, based on what A and B are. And typically I suspect that a good approach would be to ask the creator of the qualification and just learn why some technique is or is not included. But I would expect the answer to be This is how it's been for a long time.


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