# Is it welcome to ask for a laymen's explanation?

I searched the meta but could not find any question with an answer to this, the closest was this question but it deals with the level of the mathematics and quality of the question.

I've read the FAQ, and it says that math.se is for "is for people studying mathematics at any level".

In my case, I do not study math, per se. I do sometimes delve into math from my main field of study, software development. I believe many people on this site are also interested in math from the perspective of other sciences (signal processing comes to mind).

I am sure a purely mathematical question is welcome here. But the problem is I suck at math, and most of the time I ask someone about a math problem, it is because I could not understand the Wikipedia definition. This is what I see when I read Wikipedia:

So most of the time I Google until I find a site that explains the subject like this:

(source) (also, I know Fourier Transforms are much more complex and tricky than that and that the image shown does not clear up most of the concept.)

## What I want to get at is:

I'm for all accounts a math "dummy". Would it be welcome for me to ask questions to be answered in laymen's terms? Such as "Could you please explain this formula in natural English"?

(but I'm not asking this specifically about formulas, I mean to ask anything math-related in laymen's terms, such as why something is the way it is in math while trying not to resort to obscure abstractions (to a non-mathematician)).

• Many of the highest rated questions and answers on this site would appeal to laymen. – The Chaz 2.0 Apr 14 '12 at 13:48
• One thing I noticed. Some layman's terms questions are quite tricky, and some questions end up having quite complicated rigorous answers. Morals of the story: please metion the word layman's terms in your question, and most users will give you very nice answers. Also, there is a tag: (intuition). Try to use it. – user2468 Apr 14 '12 at 18:57
• That's some serious math rendering bug you've encountered on Wikipedia ... – hmakholm left over Monica Apr 14 '12 at 21:42
• @TheChaz Well, defining "laymen" is hard. In many fields it's easy because a layperson in medicine is everyone who did not study medicine, but we're supposed to remember math from school, and I know I don't. So a layman may either be someone who doesn't understand the Riemann sphere, or logarithms. – Camilo Martin Apr 15 '12 at 6:44
• @J.D. Yes, I'll mention that onwards. Also, nice tag! I'll use it. – Camilo Martin Apr 15 '12 at 6:52
• @HenningMakholm I should have posted it as an animated gif, because sometimes they change places. But I'd have to record it overnight, because they only do that when I'm not looking. – Camilo Martin Apr 15 '12 at 6:54