I'm presently finishing up my first calendar year of studies in graduate mathematics, and I would be lying if I said that I didn't often refer back to Math SE when trying to solve problems that were particularly challenging for me. In fact, there was a question on one of my recent qualifying exams that I was able to solve using techniques I had seen from answers on the site. However, I am also aware that, if left unchecked, SE can become a crutch for doing homework, which is ultimately detrimental.

More to the force of my question: What would regular users and educators on this site recommend as helpful for a developing mathematician's (such as myself) relationship to SE? Are there healthy boundaries that should be exercised? Should a graduate student use SE only in the most difficult of cases, or is it more beneficial to spend time looking at others' techniques for solving problems and learn from them?

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    The main thing is that you not be passive. I often tell students here how to figure something out themselves, what sort of examples to investigate, what have you. Almost all refuse to follow this advice, just wait for a letter perfect answer. – Will Jagy Aug 19 '17 at 20:11
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    Personally, try answering questions yourself. This helps make stuff stick better. Secondly, read stuff, just as you already do. Thirdly, ask questions yourself as need be. If you want to be healthy, try limiting yourself to participating on the site no more than some allotted amount of time (though I have no been successful with this last one) – Simply Beautiful Art Aug 19 '17 at 21:56

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