This question https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/3397809/is-this-method-to-evaluate-convolution-integrals-more-efficient-than-traditiona , according to some users, is not appropriate to the site, and is under threat to be closed. How could it be made conform to the site ?

[Edited: The post has been deleted by OP.]


1 Answer 1


You simultaneously cross-posted the same question on both Math.SE and Math Educators.SE. That is not appropriate: cross-posting is generally considered not suitable on Stack Exchange. See Is cross-posting a question on multiple Stack Exchange sites permitted if the question is on-topic for each site?.

This site is not intended for blog posts. You write that

I really thought it could help other people. This is an innovation after all. [...] This method allows for better modelling, simulation and calculations, [...]

but this is not the place to share your innovations or draw attention to ideas that you think can help others by posting them as a "question". That's an admirable purpose, but it's not not what the site is designed for. This site is a question-and-answer site, so it is designed to build up an archive of high-quality mathematical questions and their answers (ideally, ones whose answers will be useful to others as well in the future). If your goal is to share innovations, you might be better off creating your own blog where you can describe these innovations.

I'm not 100% sure whether asking "why isn't this better-known?" is a question about mathematics. I can understand how to some people it might strike them as more an anthropological or subjective question that might not have any mathematical answer (e.g., it might be an accident of history, or it might not be considered important enough to spend precious time teaching people about). So I can understand why some readers might consider it off-topic. I'm not arguing that it is definitely off-topic -- I don't feel qualified to judge one way or another -- I am just try to help you understand why some people might react that way.

There might also be some confusion among close-voters. I see one comment saying

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because a "why isn't this taught?" question is more appropriate at matheducators.stackexchange.com

However, that is not an appropriate close reason. Just because a question is more suitable at some other site doesn't make it off-topic here. We allow people to pick what site they want their question to appear on, and as long as it is on-topic here, it can remain. This is widely misunderstood, and it is an understandable misconception, but it's not how closures are supposed to work. Saying "how to teach is off-topic here" would be an acceptable reason to close (if true), but saying "how to teach is more on-topic on matheducators" is not an acceptable reason to close it here (either such questions are on-topic here or off-topic here; how they would be received elsewhere is immaterial).

Your post is probably too long. Everyone here is a volunteer, and most people probably don't have time to read lengthy essays. If you can convey your question in a few paragraphs, you're probably more likely to get useful answers. Taking a look around at other questions can be a helpful way to get a better sense for how the site works. Length doesn't make a post off-topic, but in might increase the risk of confusion or readers misunderstanding your ideas.

Finally, you mention

I am truly shocked to see that this site, about which I always had a positive attitude, seems to show hostility toward me.

I don't see hostility towards you. I can understand why it might feel hostile for someone to vote to close your question, but I doubt it is personal or intended as hostility towards you. The effective functioning of the site requires some curation, and requires closing some questions; otherwise the site would degenerate to something horrible, akin to Yahoo Answers, and would not be the success it is today. I would not interpret those actions as hostility towards you -- I would interpret it as people defending the site and protecting the health of the site. Part of that requires us to turn away some questions as outside our scope. That doesn't mean they are bad questions; it just means they might not fit what this site is good at.

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    $\begingroup$ "... cross-posting is generally considered not suitable on Stack Exchange" I think OP posted the question on Math Educator.SE later because the first comment under the MSE post suggested that it is more appropriate to be posted there. $\endgroup$
    – user9464
    Oct 17, 2019 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Jack, yes, I understand. That can be confusing. However, it's still not allowed, even if a poster leaves a comment suggesting that. It would have been better if that comment had warned to avoid cross-posting, and suggested picking one site for the question to appear and deleting the other copy, but not everyone does that. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Oct 17, 2019 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, I feel like the general rule linked to in the main meta post might have some exception in the case of MathEducators, MathOverflow and Math SE. Especially between the latter two. Of course that's not really the case here, but I think cross-posting between MO and MSE is often appropriate when an appropriate time gap is left (say 1~2 weeks between posting on MSE and posting on MO). So imho "cross-posting is generally considered not suitable on Stack Exchange" might be misleading--as long as good judgement is exercised, it can be acceptable, sometimes. $\endgroup$
    – YiFan
    Oct 18, 2019 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ @YiFan, I believe this has discussed on meta at some length: see, e.g., math.meta.stackexchange.com/q/16288/14578 and math.meta.stackexchange.com/q/21237/14578 and math.meta.stackexchange.com/q/10067/14578 and math.meta.stackexchange.com/q/5085/14578. This question was not an instance of waiting 1-2 weeks before cross-posting; this was a case of simultaneous cross-posting. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Oct 18, 2019 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, which is why I said it's not the case here. My point was that the first paragraph could be misleading if written without qualification. $\endgroup$
    – YiFan
    Oct 19, 2019 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ @YiFan, I have edited my answer. Thank you for the feedback. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Oct 19, 2019 at 20:24

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