For context, I'm referring to this post: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/3441209/was-andrew-wiles-a-child-prodigy

My question was about Andrew Wiles' life and specifically his mathematical experience/level as a child. Yes, this wasn't strictly a question about something itself mathematical, but it fell under the approved "mathematicians" tag (which is described as questions about mathematicians and their lives). If such a post is not acceptable on Math SE, then why is a tag on this very thing verified?

  • $\begingroup$ it's now deleted. $\endgroup$
    – user645636
    Dec 7 '19 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ a lot of tags have dependence on others. $\endgroup$
    – user645636
    Dec 7 '19 at 23:31
  • $\begingroup$ You could try asking here also. $\endgroup$
    – user486983
    Dec 7 '19 at 23:45
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ Anybody with enough points can create a tag, so the existence of a particular tag doesn't mean it's "approved" or "verified", it just means someone created it and it didn't occur to anyone to try to delete it. Moreover, even if every user is happy with a given tag, that doesn't mean they're happy with every question someone else posts using that tag. Better to argue the merits of your specific question, than to rely on tag-generalities. $\endgroup$ Dec 8 '19 at 3:27

This was linked from the closure notification.

What topics can I ask about here?

Mathematics Stack Exchange is for people studying mathematics at any level and professionals in related fields. We welcome questions about:

  • Understanding mathematical concepts and theorems.
  • Mathematical problems such as one might come across in a course or textbook.
  • Solving mathematical puzzles.
  • Software that mathematicians use (except Mathematica, which has its own Stack Exchange site).

Certainly questions that fall under this umbrella can be related to specific mathematicians, and those would be appropriate questions to cross-tag with the mathematicians tag.

Questions solely about mathematicians? Probably not as much. This seems like a question that would be more appropriately answered by a biography or an encyclopedia. Admittedly, looking over the 91 questions with that tag (which includes others that are closed), there are quite a few other questions that should be closed that are not. I submitted a change to the tag so that a suggestion that people consider the History of Science and Mathematics StackExchange if their question is more significantly about history than mathematics.

If you feel that you can only fully understand the proof of FLT from understanding the context of Wiles' childhood, you can make that case in this post. Your original post was closed by five specific people over the course of about 20 minutes, and the question can be revived even from deletion if you can make a persuasive case that it would benefit the mission of MSE to do so.


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