History of Math.StackExchange

This thread is used to record significant events in the life of Math.StackExchange.

What should be recorded. Creation of the site (proposed, beta tested, graduated). Technological innovations like TeX support and chat. Chronology of moderators. Base-10 milestones ($10^k$ users, $10^k$ questions, etc). Probably something else that I can't think of now. But nothing subjective or potentially inflammatory.

How could it be useful? Newcomers to the site will have a way to satisfy natural curiosity. Wikipedia editors will have a convenient source of information about Math.SE. Users reading old meta threads will be able to interpret them properly, knowing that a certain post was written when its author was/was not a moderator. Former moderators will have their work formally recognized.

• Should there also be some notes of questions and answers which hit high milestones, and users whose contribution hits high levels? – Mark Bennet Jan 2 '13 at 21:44
• @MarkBennet Sure, record-setting questions and answers would be a good way to measure the widening reach of the site, if there is an objective measure (number of views?) to back up their inclusion. (By the way, I agree with Noah Snyder that the Batman equation was a success story of Math.SE). I'm less sure about putting spotlight on particular users when it's not clear that they would like it. This is why I reworded the entry on Arturo's 100K to make it more about the site. – user53153 Jan 2 '13 at 22:01
• Should we include meta data as well? – draks ... Jan 21 '13 at 10:17
• @draks... I don't see a convincing reason to include meta in history. Pretty much all of its content (except faq) could disappear overnight without anyone losing anything of value. – user53153 Jan 21 '13 at 23:25
• The Maths Overflow post is located here, now. – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Nov 12 '13 at 3:17

Site Milestones

June 2010: Math.SE was proposed on Area 51 by Dan Dumitru.

July 2010: Math.SE enters the beta phase. The first question was What Does it Really Mean to Have Different Kinds of Infinities? At least 60 users actively participated in the private beta (July 20-27). The most active users during the public beta phase (July 27-October 25) are listed here.

August 2010: $$1000^{\rm th}$$ user joined.

October 2010: The site graduates from beta and gets its own design.

November 2010: First "Great Answer" badge awarded to Qiaochu Yuan for Mathematical difference between white and black notes in a piano.

December 2010: First "Great Question" badge awarded to user Chris for Why can you turn clothing right-side-out?

January 2011: $$10000^{\rm th}$$ answer posted.

April 2011: $$10000^{\rm th}$$ question posted.

August 2011: $$10000^{\rm th}$$ user joined. Is this Batman equation for real? becomes the first question with $$100000$$ views.

October 2011: First paper accepted for publication (also here), based on a collaborative effort between math.SE users Listing, Peter Taylor, J.M., and Mike Spivey on Listing's question - $$n$$th derivative of $$e^{1/x}$$. Paper published in the February 2013 issue of Mathematics Magazine.

December 2011: $$\TeX$$ support for chat is introduced by robjohn.

January 2012: Math.SE becomes the first SE 2.0 site with a 100K user (Arturo Magidin), excluding Stack Overflow.

August 2012: $$100000^{\rm th}$$ answer posted. J.M. is the first user to vote $$10000$$ times.

February 2013: The tag becomes the first tag to reach $$10000$$ questions.

March 2013 was the first month with over $$10000$$ questions asked.

July 2013: The site becomes third on SE in the number of questions; first time an SE 2.0 site overtook a member of the original trilogy (ServerFault).

October 2013: André Nicolas is the first user to reach 200K reputation.

November 2013: The site becomes second on SE in the number of questions, trailing only StackOverflow.

June 2014: The Official Math.SE Blog launched.

August 2014: The tag is burninated and blacklisted.

October 2014: Post $$\#1{,}000{,}000$$ appears, an answer by mjqxxxx.

November 2014: Michael Hardy is the first user to make $$10000$$ edits. André Nicolas is the first user to reach 300K reputation.

January 2015: Qiaochu Yuan is the first user to collect $$1000$$ (non-unique) badges.

October 2015: $$500{,}000$$ questions; the mark was reached on October 10.

January 2016: The Student badge becomes the first badge to be awarded $$100{,}000$$ times; the mark was reached on January 4.

December 2016: The $$1{,}000{,}000^{\rm th}$$ answer was posted.

October 2018: The $$1{,}000{,}000^{\rm th}$$ question was posted, titled: Separation Properties in Topology. Math.SE is the first SE 2.0 site to reach 1 million questions.

• I remember the Batman equation post. There was a surge in views, partly because someone had created a referral link in Hacker News. – user1551 Mar 1 '17 at 11:29
• "June 2014: The Official Math.SE Blog launched." Should there also be an entry for the month during which the blog sank? – Gerry Myerson Oct 23 '17 at 11:54
• Nice. The homework tag is in the history books. – JonathanDavidArndt Sep 20 '18 at 14:44
• I don't think it's fair to name that as the 1000000th question. I can on a whim delete a few hundred questions and change the status of this. Or undelete a bunch and also change that. – Asaf Karagila Oct 9 '18 at 20:49
• @AsafKaragila There is a longer discussion on what is to be considered the 1,000,000th question on math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/29230/… . At the time it was posted, Separation Properties in Topology was the 1,000,000th question - nothing more is claimed. – Andreas Oct 10 '18 at 14:11

Those who have served as site moderators

Timeline of site moderators

(look at the source of this post for the $$\LaTeX$$ code that generated this image)

• BTW it would be nice to have some history available just on math.stackexchange.com/users?tab=moderators — maybe we should add a feature request – Grigory M Jan 5 '15 at 13:40
• @GrigoryM There is such a request now. – user147263 Jun 9 '15 at 19:23
• @Najib FYI, I adapted this for SO moderators. – user147263 Nov 24 '15 at 22:51
• What happened to Daniel from March 2019 to October 2019? – Jack Oct 17 '19 at 14:35
• @Jack moderator-status is revoked after a period of prolonged inactivity and reinstated upon return. – quid Oct 18 '19 at 19:01

According to my screenshot, the 1 millionth question was just posted today by Firat Celebi

Sadly, like those counts of who is the millionth person to walk over a bridge, I don't think there is actually any definitive answer to such a puzzle: does one include questions that were deleted, or re-opened, or which were test posts, or duplicates etc etc etc (or in the bridge analogy, what about the person who walked half-way, then turned back etc)

• I think this should be added to the main answer rather than as a new one (and personally I wouldn't mention the precise question). – Arnaud D. Oct 7 '18 at 18:14
• @ArnaudD. I agree that it should be added to the Milestone answer. The screenshot could be in a hyperlink. – Surb Oct 7 '18 at 18:25
• Please feel welcome to edit this into the main answer. Many thanks. – wolfies Oct 7 '18 at 19:26
• If one includes all deleted questions, the count as of the last dump to SEDE stood at 1,280,666. – E.P. Oct 10 '18 at 15:13