Many times, while surfing the web, we come across various questions and their solutions in different math forums and discussion pages.

Can we post them here, with the problem and its solution?

Does it violate the rules?

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    $\begingroup$ It doesn't violate the rules - there is specific functionality put in place to do what you are asking! (Just tick the "Answer your own question" box when asking the question.) $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Mar 26, 2013 at 14:18
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    $\begingroup$ (Although I would be wary of doing this. I mean, if it is readily available on the web, then what is the point? It had better be a super-duper elegant solution for me to be interested!) $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Mar 26, 2013 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ It's fine within the rules. But I'd like to mention that some of the other SE sites have an associated blog, and this sort of thing sounds like it would behave much nicer on a blog than on the main site. We've talked about a blog before, but there was too little support. Conceivably, there will come a time when we reconsider (maybe now? maybe never?) $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Mar 26, 2013 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed: what is the point? $\endgroup$
    – Did
    Mar 26, 2013 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ If you know you are going to post an answer to the "question", you should make sure to say so when you ask it. In general you should do this very judiciously; please don't spam the site by adding lots of pseudo-questions and answers - that is what your personal webpage is for. This site is intended primarily for for collaborative problem solving - for asking questions for which you do not know the answer. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2013 at 22:34
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    $\begingroup$ There is a possibility to post your answer simultaneously with your question: Recently rolled out SE Encyclopedia feature. (Now I've noticed that this is the same thing which was mentioned in the first comment already, but I'll leave this comment here - the link to another question I've given seems to be interesting in this context too.) $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2013 at 8:26

2 Answers 2



It's certainly allowed within the rules, and the site is even set up with the "answer your own question" capability. Further, there is a link in the FAQ to the following page (http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/07/its-ok-to-ask-and-answer-your-own-questions/), which says:

"To be crystal clear, it is not merely OK to ask and answer your own question, it is explicitly encouraged".

To those of you not sure what the point is, I think that there are several. One would be to post a problem that you found difficult to tackle but later solved (or found a solution to) that hasn't been posted on the site before. If you struggled with it, chances are someone else will too in the future and by asking and answering it now, you provide the solution for future users and improve the quality of the site.

Another, and perhaps more interesting reason is simply that you wanted to share a nice problem with a nice solution! One of the reasons I use this site is to come across new and interesting problems, and good ways of solvingthem. I would love to see more questions on this site that were both interesting and have a nice solution spacing out the more standard, homework type problems. (It's not that there's not enough already, but I don't see how more could be bad!)

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    $\begingroup$ Another way posting a question with its answer can benefit from the Q&A format is that another user may know a simpler/better/more general/different solution and then even the asker can benefit from his own post. $\endgroup$ Mar 27, 2013 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ It is worth pointing out that the blog post linked in the answer is the opinion of its author, who was an SE employee, and it was not something that was ever proposed to, or endorsed by, the math.SE community. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2013 at 22:38

What one "finds on the Internet" may include proofs of Goldbach's conjecture, angle trisections and two page proofs of FLT (with one and a half page explaining the concept of prime number). I don't want to encourage putting any of that stuff here as a question with self-answer. Fortunately, authors of such stuff tend to add copyright on their works, thus preventing a copy here - though not by the rules of M.SE itself.


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