I feel really guilty, as I tend to ask a lot of questions on here. Yet, haven't really anwser any questions. A lot of the easy questions get answered really quickly by people who seem to lecturer and give a better explanation.

I do try to comment on the question I do have idea about the answer.

But, yeah do you think there is bad problem with questions going unanswered or a few people are doing all the answering and other are just parasting of the people who answer question.

In a few years, when I'm postgrad I could answer way more questions. But, like can't really answer third/fourth year undergrad questions unless I studied something really similar. Pre uni questions seemed to be answered really quickly like calculus type.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe it's worth pointing out that answering others' questions could be a rich learning experience as well: in understanding the question, explaining a concept, writing proofs, etc. There is really no point in postponing your answering questions till you have mastered all subjects: such a stage will mostly never arrive. So just don't be afraid and post your answer (assuming it does answer the question :)). If the answer is indeed wrong, you don't have to panic: you will mostly be pointed out the gap or error and asked to correct it. $\endgroup$
    – Srivatsan
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ I asked a related question some time ago. May be helpful: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/2085/… $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ I'd like to comment that I started out feeling this way, and resolved to answer at least one question for each that I ask throughout the week, sometimes shooting for two. This turned into checking regularly for questions to answer, and so I've read a lot of threads and learned a lot of math, and managed to give back at least as many answers. It's become a habit to peruse MSE, and it's been a fantastic learning experience all around. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 5:51

4 Answers 4


I don't think that there is any problem with that. At all.

Also, that someone else posts an answer does not mean that your answer would be out of place. Unless what you intend to answer is more or less the same as another already existing answer, there is really no objection to adding yours. Very few things can be done in a unique way, and nothing loses from being looked at from different angles (Nothing at the macroscopical scale, at least! :) )


In addition to Mariano's answer, which exhaustively addresses the question as posed, it's also worth mentioning that there are many ways of contributing to a healthy community apart from answering questions: vote generously, and not only on answers to your questions, but also on other questions and answers, accept answers, downvote and flag inappropriate content, edit poorly worded posts, etc. At the end of the day, it is your choice how to contribute.


You are more than welcome at this site.

I find your questions - going back to the beginning of your MSE days - to be generally well-posed, and you have even used LaTex from the very first!

Contrast that with, say, some numb-skull who has plagued the community with abominably ill-posed questions and inane comments... averaging NEGATIVE TWO votes per question. Hypothetically speaking, of course.


As Mariano mentions, there are very few problems that have a unique method of solution. If you see a question all of whose answers require calculus can you figure out a method that does not require calculus? If all of the answers use algebra can you figure out a solution that uses geometry?

As you mention there are a lot of questions that get answered very quickly and the early answers tend to get most of the votes. I wish to encourage people to at least scan through all the answers and vote for solutions using methods that are different from the popular answers.


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