I suggest that we remove this tag. The presence of this tag makes users tag questions badly and causes severe inconsistency in tagging. The questions tagged with belong to several different areas. To get a feeling of the problem, it is like having a tag and having users using it to tag question from different areas (, , , etc.) and just with it.

Right now the questions tagged with tag belong to several areas including:

There are many questions with that are tagged insufficiently (my rough estimate is more than half the questions with fall in this category). Similarly there are many questions tagged with one of the tags from the list above but not with .

So IMHO not only it is not effective for filtering/searching questions, it is in fact harmful because it allows people to get away with a improper tagging of their questions (which, in place of making filtering/searching easier, makes it more difficult).

  • $\begingroup$ What about questions of this type: "What areas of mathematics are useful for someone studying CS?" (This questions is perhaps too broad, but I can imagine a student asking this.) "Are there any applications of PDEs in CS? (Artificial example, but you can replace PDEs by any area of math.) Or, for example, these questions: Fields that require both CS and pure math, Math for computer science?, How can I learn about proofs for computer science? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 24 '12 at 16:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Martin, I am aware that one may ask a question about CS generally, but CS is a very large and such questions can be tagged like those about math generally. ps: Interestingly only one of the 3 examples you mentioned has the computer-science tag and that one can be tagged with logic. Exclude soft-question, big-picture, and big-list and I don't know if anything will be left that cannot be tagged more specifically with the other tags. The computer-science tag could have been useful but right now the way people are using it is making things more difficult rather than easy. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Aug 24 '12 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ I think that it will be important to see what the users which are more experienced in computer science have to say about this. Anyway, I think that before a relatively large undertaking of retagging 300 to 600 questions, some kind of consensus should be reached. I've posted an answer where I've given some arguments against removing computer-science. In this way we give other users possibility to show their opinion by upvoting/downvoting two opposing proposals. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 25 '12 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin, I agree, it would be nice to have the opinion of users experiences in computer-science. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Aug 25 '12 at 11:29

I have also noticed this issue. For various reasons, users often use the tag for questions that are on topic here but which were encountered in the context of computer science, even if the questions is completely mathematics.

Most of the questions that are tagged "computer science" should really be tagged "computability", for theoretical computability, or "formal languages", for those. I would support retagging any "computer science" questions that only have that tag, and then deleting the "computer science" tag.


Quote from your post:

To get a feeling of the problem, it is like having a tag and having users using it to tag question from different areas (, , , etc.) and just with it.

I think a better analogy is between and . Plenty of questions in this tag should have (in addition to/instead of abstract-algebra) tags like , , etc. Despite this fact, no-one is seriously considering removing entirely. (We also have to consider the fact that there are some questions that do not fit any of those subareas of algebra.)

Even though represent very large area, when asking at math.SE it should be considered as one of the areas of questions here. (It is understandable that situation is different at sites specialized entirely to computer science.)

For the above reasons, I think that the tag should stay.

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    $\begingroup$ My analogy was to give a feeling of how useless the tag is. There might be problems with other tags also (I don't have an opinion on them) but I don't think that would be a reason not to fix the problem with this one. (One major difference IMO is that computer science is not an area in math while abstract algebra is an area in math. Another difference is that questions tagged with computer science are too diverse for the tag to be useful, arguably there is almost nothing in common between say logic and numerical methods, whereas hopefully questions tagged with abstract algebra are not such.) $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Aug 25 '12 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ Just to make sure that what I wrote is not misunderstood: I don't claim that abstract-algebra should be removed. I just say that similar problem appears there - it is a large area, which has plenty subareas. If people consider it a problem, that some questions which could be tagged group-theory are tagged only abtract-algebra, the solution is not removing the tag abstract-algebra but to pay more attention to tagging questions. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 26 '12 at 3:16

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