Questions tagged [allowed-questions]

Use this tag when asking what is on- or off-topic on the main site, and why.

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80
votes
1answer
1k views

Academic advising should be explicitly off-topic

Occasionally we get questions of the form I am a student of $N$th year majoring in $A$ with minor or emphasis in $B$. I took courses $C_1,C_2,\dots,C_n$ and did extracurricular activities $E_1,\...
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11answers
3k views

What is the site etiquette about (i) asking and (ii) answering questions in a language other than English?

We have a new user who has recently both asked and answered questions in French. I think we should discuss the appropriateness of this practice.
54
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4answers
1k views

How should we deal with “sob stories”/gaming the system?

There are many questions where someone posts something along the lines of "my 4 year old daughter conjectured that: (math a 4 year old would obviously not know)". There was one recently where they ...
51
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6answers
2k views

Should I ask stupid questions?

As I'm starting to study mathematics and I feel like to ask a lot of questions, but I'm aware that I could answer part of them alone instead of just asking. Sometimes I can answer the question a few ...
51
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6answers
2k views

Are questions about history on topic?

By now, many of you are likely aware of the existence of History of Science and Mathematics Stack Exchange, which started up a year and a half ago and is still going strong in the beta stage. ...
40
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2answers
2k views

Clarify an old answer

Today I went to ask a question, but I discovered that somebody else had already asked the exact same thing. Goody for me, right? Well, the trouble is, the question got several answers, but I don't ...
40
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2answers
1k views

The problem with proof verification

What I am going to bring up is not a new problem. It was hashed again and again and again. It was brought up as far as 2013, and repeatedly almost every year. See 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Some of ...
39
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2answers
2k views

What qualify questions to be in mathoverflow and not in math.stackexchange?

I have read that https://mathoverflow.net/ is only for the very advanced mathematics, such as upper graduate level or research level, counter to https://math.stackexchange.com/ which is for any ...
38
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5answers
1k views

Is it appropriate to close every question that doesn't show efforts and/or lacks of context?

Yesterday this question was asked: Finding solutions to $2^x+17=y^2$, then it was closed and finally it was reopened. My concern is about if every question showing no effort or lacking of context ...
38
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2answers
1k views

“Context” vs. “your work” redux

Recently, we (once again) discussed the practices of requiring context and asking for someone's work on a question. It has been quite an established principle these days that people ought to include ...
37
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3answers
985 views

Large number of posts in the spirit of “How do I become good at Mathematics?”

There have been a steady number of questions being asked in the spirit of: Hi, I'm yada yada. Here's a short version of my life story and why I can't math. I currently only understand such and ...
36
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3answers
1k views

Is it appropriate to ask “dumb” questions.

As I found, most people asking really smart questions. But what if I have a "dumb" question. When I simply don't understand something or even don't understand some answers. More specifically, can I ...
35
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1answer
1k views

Can we ask about code in math.stackexchange?

I was wondering if it's OK to ask about the implementation of a mathematical function in code? Really do not know if I should ask in StackOverflow or math.stackexchange.
34
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3answers
907 views

Large number of self-answered questions permissible?

I have some free time over the next month, and I was thinking of reviewing some material on Hilbert spaces and eventually learning about the associated spectral theory. (I never got to this when I ...
33
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1answer
810 views

Is it okay to ask for an exercise or example?

I just thought of this idea. I am currently studying some advanced abstract algebra and recently I learned about Jordan-Holder factors, central simple algebras and stuff. The concepts are very new and ...
32
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2answers
465 views

Add “teaching math” to the on-topic list

The following transpired in the comments to the (currently closed) Stopping the "Will I need this for the test" question (emphasis added). robjohn notes that "teaching math" is not listed in ...
31
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1answer
2k views

Are “please check my proof” type of questions proper?

I am investigating a somewhat obscure area of number theory. Can I post a proposition and a complete proof and ask people to check it?
31
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2answers
1k views

Why don't we use a homework policy… like physics.SE?

I was reading Proposal: ban verbatim homework questions which have no accompanying text and I came upon some startling old statistics. Since 2013, the number of questions on this site has multiplied ...
31
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1answer
522 views

A question on an answer made by a user who is no longer active

I saw an answer in a old thread that I do not understand. I made a comment yesterday asking the user to explain a particular step. But I realize now that the thread is old and the user is no longer ...
30
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4answers
1k views

Is there a lower bound to the level of the questions that can be asked in here?

Recently I've seen a couple of questions, specifically this one and this one, that were relatively low level for what I've seen up to now in the site. Basically both questions were just asking for ...
30
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2answers
979 views

About demanding work from askers

I only found out about MSE around the end of my degree, so I didn't get to ask that many questions. However, had I known about it earlier, I could see myself wanting to ask questions, having thought ...
29
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4answers
1k views

Is simple mathematics for learners allowed here?

Are users encouraged to ask simple math questions in this forum as well? Most of the questions here seem advanced for a math learner.
29
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4answers
2k views

Does “mathematics at all levels” include the level of those who harbor typical confusions held by most laypersons?

is all math beyond arithmetic just advanced arithmetic? A person suffering from the usual laypersons' extreme confusions about the nature of mathematics posted the question linked above. Might I be ...
29
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2answers
902 views

Asking “Where did my math go wrong” questions

Let's say a Math Exchange inquirer posts: 1) A homework problem (with book citation) 2) The inquirer's workings towards an (ultimately incorrect) final answer 3) The textbook's answer 4) And ...
28
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1answer
1k views

Asking competitive exam questions (to which I have solutions)

I have several books of standard exercises that were asked in competitive exams in France (typically, ENS/Polytechnique), from my earlier years. In particular, a lot of them are quite interesting, ...
27
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5answers
2k views

What is the proper way to handle homework questions?

I feel that this topic is important enough to deserve its own page, rather than having bits and pieces be scattered across many answers and comments. It is inevitable that many students will come to ...
27
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3answers
906 views

Do we actually “welcome questions about: • Software that mathematicians use”?

On the FAQ it says: "We welcome questions about: • Software that mathematicians use". However, when I went to post a question about maple, I found this: About maple For questions involving the ...
27
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3answers
739 views

Is the site being too lenient in helping people with homework?

Most questions which are actually exercises and considered homework on other sites are closed within a short span of time, but since this site requires people to show their work so that they are ...
27
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2answers
2k views

Is it ok to ask about the correctness of preprints of crank friendly topics?

Motivated by this question here: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/43051/collatz-finally-solved There seems to be a divided opinion (see comments) among users of math.se regarding the "on-...
27
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1answer
527 views

Are questions about mathematical language, writing, and terminology on topic here?

I just came across the question "Does "another" mean "another" in mathematics?". This question is asking about how the word "another" is used in mathematical writing. Someone ...
26
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1answer
1k views

“Help me find a paper”-type questions

Recently, this question was closed as "not being about maths". I think that this closure is worthy of further discussion. Basically, I believe that finding papers (especially old ones, or ...
26
votes
1answer
570 views

What is the right place (on stackexchange) to ask questions concerning mathematical writing?

As a student working on my first academic publication, I have a ton of questions specifically about writing about math. For example: When should I state the full theorem rather than just its name ...
25
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3answers
923 views

Are intuition-based questions off-topic?

I was perusing the "Close Questions" queue just now and noticed a common theme. It seems like a large number of questions involve gaining intuition about some result; most of them use the word "...
25
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2answers
516 views

Are questions caused by typographical errors in a textbook on-topic?

Recently someone asked a question about an argument in a textbook which (s)he did not understand. Some people quickly noticed that the confusion was just caused by a typographical error in the book, ...
25
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1answer
729 views

Getting Help With Calculations From A Paper: Acceptable Or No?

There is a math. ecology paper that I am interested in using in my own project but the math that is used in the paper is outside of my knowledge base. So ideally I was hoping to post the paper and the ...
25
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2answers
705 views

Is a question about “Best books/papers on X” appropriate?

I’ve recently become interested in rational right triangles — especially the relationship between their geometric and algebraic properties and possible applications to the solutions of Diophantine ...
25
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1answer
1k views

Can I post questions to fill in the gaps in a textbook I'm reading from?

I am currently reading Galois Theory on my own from Patrick Morandi's Field and Galois Theory. There are many statements in the textbook that I do not find to be obvious, which is to be expected from ...
25
votes
1answer
561 views

Is the 'sister' question on topic?

I suspect we've all seen My sister absolutely refuses to learn math by now - it's lodged at the top of the Stack Exchange hot questions list, it's been tweeted, it's got 27k views and hundreds of ...
24
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4answers
818 views

Would it be allowed to post a question as an exercise for students?

So I'm a math teacher and would like my students to get comfortable with this community and to get familiar with this resource. To this end I've daydreamed about assigning them a problem, then posting ...
24
votes
2answers
675 views

Will this series of questions about the mathematics behind various MoMath exhibits be alright?

The National Museum of Mathematics, known as MoMath, has a wonderful collection of mathematical exhibits at their museum in midtown Manhattan, and I would recommend anyone to visit. The museum is ...
24
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2answers
623 views

What is the appropriate way to post conjectures on Math.SE

My hobby is to seach for closed forms of integrals that cannot be evaluated by modern CAS like Maple or Mathematica. Sometimes I can intuitively find the right way to transform the integral and can ...
24
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2answers
1k views

Why close old questions with accepted answers using the “no context” reason?

Recently, I have noticed there is an increasing number of closings (or at least, close votes) on questions like this one. That is, archaic questions with accepted answers, which do not match the "...
23
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3answers
814 views

Questions posed out of curiosity, or out of stupidity

Where should I put questions asked purely out of curiosity, do they go in Meta, or in MSE proper? I'm talking about the type of questions having absolutely no bearing (sp?) on one's work, and which ...
23
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2answers
799 views

A recent flood of poorly asked questions

I don't know why, but it seems that there has been a spate of poorly asked questions as of late--many of which seem to be directly lifted from homework. Here are a bunch of examples. These are ...
23
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3answers
2k views

Centralized solutions to textbook problems considered harmful?

Recently I've been toying with the idea of going through Crandall and Pomerance's Prime Numbers: A Computational Perspective cover-to-cover, to the best of my ability. However, it's a very difficult ...
23
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1answer
957 views

Protocol for Answers Containing Claims of Cheating

While reviewing posts, I've seen quite a few instances of a new user posting an answer to a question claiming that the question is from a current exam/competition. The new user also usually calls out ...
23
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3answers
872 views

What should we do with poorly posed questions?

This is regarding Bill Dubuques post. After reading the discussion, I agree that the community should be more welcoming and friendlier. I personally am not sure what to do when someone asks poorly ...
23
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2answers
776 views

Can we make IEEE 754 off topic?

For those who may be unfamiliar with IEEE 754, it is the standard that the vast majority of computers use to store floating-point numbers. There are about 100 questions on this site about converting ...
22
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6answers
1k views

Is it okay to ask very basic questions on SE?

I have avoided asking elementary questions on Maths SE (and on the other communities) after observing the quality of the content here. I just want to know if it's okay to ask questions about very ...
22
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2answers
627 views

Are questions of the form “has this ever been studied?” appropriate?

Are requests of the form "has this ever been studied, and if so, may I please have a reference?" considered appropriate? But let me be more specific. So firstly, there's the point-set or "classical" ...