When I go to the unanswered section I see "smart" Questions with high votes what I want to say is that those question actually don't lack an answer they are just appealing. With a random button one could help more People don't you agree?


If you go to the mainsite, and then choose Questions on the left field and then go to Unanswered you see question that have already been answered in Mathoverflow but are still marked as Unanswered. I don't like it. I would prefer to have a possibilty to get an answer for an unanswered question older than 2 days. There is already an unanswered section on the sidebar - I am Aware of it but those too are listed from newest to oldest. With something like a random button which would yield unanswered Questions Independent of their release date - I could hope to get an anwer for old unans. questions

  • $\begingroup$ Could you please clarify your question; I for one can't understand much of anything you've written. "smart question with high votes": can you provide two examples of such questions? What do you mean by "those questions actually don't lack an answer they are just appealing? And what "random button" do you propose that could help more people? Given your very unclear question, it is hard for anyone to agree or disagree. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ Dice Stack probably can help... isimonbrown.co.uk/dicestack/… (also, just in case, you posted this on Mathematics.SE meta, not MathOverflow meta) $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ I am usually the one who asks the question and not answers them. If such a tool could be installed on the main site it would help People like me quite a lot. $\endgroup$
    – RM777
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ Related posts on Meta Stack Exchange: Random question button (and the questions linked there) and Random Unanswered question sorting. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 22:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I understand the desire to encourage people to answer older questions. I wonder whether adding a random unanswered selector would help. It's already possible for people to manifestly perform a random selection: go to unanswered in tags of their choosing, and then click on a random page. [Or a random date range, etc.] $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ I will add that I have a javascript bookmarklet that presents a few random unanswered questions in my tags. I used to use it frequently --- but not as much now. This question made me think about it again, though. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


For myself, I would welcome such a button—without it, the main ways I can view unanswered questions are

  • visit Unanswered Questions, and find questions I've already seen in the recent questions list.
  • manually enter a page number into the URL which I hope will take me back far enough to see unfamiliar ones—which is laborious on mobile.
  • go to the final page, where I find good but very difficult questions from 2011 (the bad ones presumably having been deleted and the non-difficult ones answered by now).

Basically any methodical approach that doesn't involve more navigating than reading questions leads to repeatedly encountering the same questions. Some randomness would help avoid that. (Bookmarking of list positions would also help.)

But I think I would prefer jumping to a random page within the unanswered list rather than to a random question, since I'd then be able to scroll back to a question if I wanted—say if I thought of a suitable answer after moving on.

The key thing, though, is to have a way of seeing a different set of unanswered questions on each visit.

Note that I'm mostly navigating on a phone—even with desktop view turned on it's not straightforward to jump to a page that's more than about three pages from one's current position, at least in the view I get.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .