I was looking at a pair of questions:

Sum of random numbers and e constant


Expected number of (0,1) distributed continuous random variables required to sum upto 1

The rules of Math stackexchange state that a person asking a question should incorporate context in order that the answer be suitable for the person asking mathematical skill etc.

However in this pair of questions we have the same question being asked but clearly a different mathematical background. Indeed it is quite possible that the person asking the first question might not even recognise that the second question is the same.

If context is significant enough that a lack of it can cause a question to be closed or removed then shouldn't questions with significantly different contexts also be considered to be different questions?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also it could be argued that the second link is PSQ and from that the first question is a better one. $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2020 at 5:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The same mathematical content may be approached from distinct levels. If the context makes it clear that the level of expected answer is different from one question to another, then the questions are distinct, and need not necessarily be closed as duplicates. Of course, depending on the answers provided, the more advanced question might be closed as a duplicate of the more elementary question (if it attracts a more advanced answer). $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jun 8, 2020 at 6:29
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    $\begingroup$ As an aside, I would argue that neither of the questions above is of great quality, though I personally think that this one is the better of the two. The excitement at having discovered this result provides quite a bit of context. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jun 8, 2020 at 6:30


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