In response to the community's feedback on this contest, we've decided to cancel it. We never intended to favor quantity over quality, but we can see how this contest missed the mark. We appreciate all the constructive criticism regarding this idea.

In case you haven't seen the contest yet and are interested, you can still read the announcement below.

As more and more research-oriented sites pop up on Stack Exchange, we can’t help but be impressed with the amazing academic resource our users have created. We also can’t help but wonder... which academic community has the most Stack spirit? In an epic question-asking battle, would Math take down Statistics? Could Linguistics edge out English? If only there was a way to find out...

Oh wait! There is: an epic question-asking battle. Let’s do it! It’s getting close to the holidays after all, so now is a perfect time for us to say thank you by continuing our tradition of giving back. As such, the community that wins this battle will get 1000 USD to donate to a charity of their choice. Winners of each round will also get 100 USD to donate to charity.

Here’s how the battle will work:

  • Participating sites are English, Math, Statistics, Theoretical Computer Science, Linguistics, Physics, Philosophy, and History.
  • Each round will last a week, and the contest will be single-elimination bracket-style.
  • To move on to the next round, the average number of questions each site asks per day during the round must exceed that site’s current average. Whichever site exceeds their average by more questions wins the round.
  • To determine who would face off in the first round, we seeded the sites according to past activity.

Are you ready for this?! Here it is:

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A few more notes:

  • Although this is a contest, a “Battle of the Sites” if you will, it’s all in the spirit of fundraising for charity and having fun. So while we understand (and encourage!) competitiveness, try to keep it friendly.
  • While we expect this contest to generate a lot of new questions, we have full faith in the community’s ability to uphold its standards and preference for good questions. If we find that a site is getting a lot of bad questions during the contest, it will have to be disqualified.

Round one starts now and ends Sunday 11/20 at 11:59 pm UTC. Ready. Set. GO.

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @Rebecca Chernoff: I would prefer the contest to be about answers as I don't see who exactly should be motivated to suddenly have more math questions because of the competition. Answering unanswered questions is another matter. $\endgroup$
    – Phira
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 22:12
  • 18
    $\begingroup$ This is really not an academic community. MathOverflow is an academic community. However even if MO would join the SE network, I cannot see such "game" working on that community, not even in $\aleph_1$ many years. To add on that, I also feel cheap by this. When people tell me "Come on, it's fun" I can tell that it is usually not the case. If it's fun, I'll do it on my own accord. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 23:03
  • 23
    $\begingroup$ To add on the above, this is exactly why I left DeviantART. I hate (with true passion) communities that try to prod me into being "more" productive as a member of the community. Especially communities which I actually feel a part (which as a person I can honestly say that it is a very rare and very transient feeling). I truly hope that the SE sites do not plan on having these "happy happy joy joy" activities often, I'd imagine I am not the only one feeling negatively about this sort of initiative. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 23:08
  • 13
    $\begingroup$ To expand on @Asaf's first comment, we are not a research-oriented site. The most popular tag on this site is "homework," followed by "calculus." Questions asked on math.SE are not primarily from the top site users (some of whom are researchers), but instead are often from university students who want help with their classwork. Math Overflow is the research-oriented math site. Most of the top site users here who want to ask research-level questions tend to do so there rather than here. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 23:28
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ The 8 meta questions: Math History Physics CSTheory Stats Philosophy English Linguistics $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 15, 2011 at 0:00
  • 27
    $\begingroup$ Pardon my French, but this "battle" is bullshit. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 15, 2011 at 1:39

1 Answer 1


In the spirit of Asaf's excellent comments, I hereby formally propose that we just concede the match and leave this silliness to such other sites as want to participate.

If SE Inc. wants to donate money to some charity, more power to them, but let's prefer quality over quantity here.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ You win, History. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 15, 2011 at 2:17
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Be sure to see this answer, which is right on the mark. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 3:48

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