Questions tagged [policy]

for questions on Mathematics Stack Exchange policies

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88
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6answers
5k views

Is there an MSE-like site that is more pleasant to work in? Or are there other solutions?

The Problem: It becomes more difficult to help people on a site in which there is mass closing of questions. And I am disturbed that a small group of people is engaged in trying to delete permanently ...
51
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4answers
4k views

Suggested Guideline for “I Don't Know Where to Begin” Questions

We've all seen them: posts that ask the community members for help regarding a homework problem, lacking in any previously attempted work. Sometimes you can't blame the asker for not knowing where to ...
41
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8answers
2k views

On the Bachelor/ette “correction”

Two days ago the question “The Bachelor Problem” (from Tao's Google+ account) was posted on MSE. It received a lot of positive attention, solutions and comments until an MSE user voted to close on ...
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4answers
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What is Math.SE?

Disclaimer: This question is not about PSQs, or "Problem Statement Questions". Rather it is about what users want Math.SE to be. I bring up PSQs to frame the issue. Background: Recently there has ...
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 ...
35
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6answers
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Why was “Rational numbers - sticks and stones” deleted?

Could some 10k or ♦ mod shed some light on why this question was deleted? I understand that there may have been a good reason for it, but the error page I'm getting doesn't really explain it, beyond ...
34
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5answers
3k views

What do we do with users who post numerous unlabeled homework questions?

User student has, quite impressively, recognized that all of user6560's questions are homework questions from the ongoing course Math 620 at the University of Buffalo. I just went through, downvoted ...
34
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4answers
3k views

Rude and Sarcastic comments

I find the comments made by a moderator here to be rude and sarcastic. Though what the OP asks might not make complete sense and needs to rephrase his question in a better way, I believe that it does ...
34
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1answer
1k views

Proposal for a plagiarism policy

I have come to believe that math.SE needs a formal policy against plagiarism. I think this should include: 1) An explanation of what plagiarism means in the context of mathematics: roughly it means ...
33
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8answers
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Answers composed entirely mechanically, e.g. by computer algebra systems

Some users post many entirely machine-composed answers, e.g. integrals computed by Maple (e.g one user has over 150 such answers). Should such "answers" be CW? $ $ Should they be comments? ...
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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5answers
818 views

What is the purpose of math.se; to learn to provide nice answers or just to get them?

Hello to all, I am a relatively new math.se member, and I have a question about the site. First of all I must say, that I have found this website to be completely amazing. No other related site ...
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 ...
28
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10answers
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How “civil” should we be?

Our FAQ states: Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated. Recently I've come across a user flag complaining about a potentially "rude" post. The post in question included ...
28
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4answers
1k views

Should we ask for Question Quotas like those that have been available for the big three?

Our site is growing quite rapidly: currently each day there are about 150 new questions asked about 250 new answers posted about 150 edits made to posts. Each of the above actions changes the front ...
28
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3answers
896 views

Should there be a policy about “hints”?

First, let me say that I completely understand the idea of not posting full solutions, but instead "hints" (or outlines) to let the OP figure out the details by themselves. I tend to do that myself. ...
28
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2answers
742 views

Best way to “revive” a question (which does not abide by the Math.SE rules) [duplicate]

There exists a question which looks interesting to me, given that I scribbled some attempts to solve it and, in spite of the fact that it "seems" like an easy application of Rolle's theorem, couldn't ...
28
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1answer
627 views

CFV: Proposal for standardized meta-comments, to avoid main-site meta discussions

Below is a sketch of a proposal I devised for handling the problem of rambling contentious meta-level discussions on the main site. The basic idea is to have a list of standardized community-elected ...
25
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3answers
920 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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3answers
680 views

What is our question deletion policy?

I've recently become a 10k plus user, and I was taking a look at the moderation tools, specifically the deletion votes section. As I was looking at the questions nominated for deletion, it struck me ...
24
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0answers
457 views

Editing closed questions to add answers

Recently we have seen quite a few instances of users editing questions that are closed to add their answers to the body of the questions themselves. That is a clear subversion of the rules and an ...
23
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3answers
2k views

How should we deal with differences of opinion about things like homework and tests?

(This is not a duplicate of questions like Homework questions - avoiding giving a complete solution or How do we enforce the homework policy?; it's about handling differences of opinion, not about the ...
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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0answers
506 views

Administrative Note on Moderator Rolls

We are in the process of implementing a policy for "absentee moderators" — Any moderator who is not active on the site for a period of six months is subject to removal of their moderator ...
23
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1answer
860 views

Mark all locked questions as [​locked​] or [​closed​] in the title

Some discussions, such as the one on annoyingness-of-CAPTCHA, are being locked without this being indicated in the titles. Closed threads seem to acquire the word "[closed]" automatically or by ...
22
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4answers
1k views

The things that make math.SE 'better' (or worse) than most other math sites

So there was a recent conversation below the main post of When does the series converge?, which prompted this meta post. I know there are plenty of people who are for and against the closure and ...
22
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3answers
632 views

Require proper citation for verbatim quoted questions, answers, proofs?

Recently I had the displeasure of seeing a famous ingenious proof quoted here without any attribution whatsoever. Some readers could have easily been misled to believe that the proof was due to the ...
22
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4answers
1k views

math.SE is no reddit… or is it?

I'm surprised and worried by the fact that the question about Collatz conjecture stays opened. Let me explain myself. There were many cases, when different people couldn't agree whether some ...
21
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3answers
992 views

Are we answering questions or teaching people how to answer their own questions?

In this answer to another meta thread, Bill Dubuque raises the following point: We should strive not only to give solutions to problems but also to teach how to solve problems. One of the important ...
20
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2answers
2k views

Proving that $e^\pi-\pi<20$ Without Using a Calculator

No, I did not mistake the meta for the main site. :-) I'm just curious how you would recommend to approach such utterly intractable questions. Apparently, simply answering them in the negative is not ...
20
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1answer
450 views

«Not an answer» / «very low quality» flags

There is a significant number of answers flagged «not an answer» and/or «very low quality». What exactly do flaggers expect from those flags? I have deleted some answers which were flagged in that ...
19
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8answers
3k views

How can I ask a good question? [duplicate]

MathOverflow has an excellent guide on how to write a good question. Another great guide exists on meta.stackoverflow. We will probably want our own site-specific guide on how to ask good questions. ...
19
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2answers
828 views

Posting multiple questions as one?

It often happens that (usually somewhat inexperienced) users post several questions on more or less related themes as one single question. To give a stylized example, someone may ask: Which of the ...
19
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1answer
677 views

How self-contained should questions be?

Every once in a while, someone posts a question that relies on an image or a Wolfram|Alpha link with a formula or the like. In the case of images, it's often because they don't have sufficient ...
19
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1answer
791 views

Is there an issue with this question?

After spending quite a bit of time trying to crack a problem about the convexity of a multivariate function by myself, I asked this question a couple of days ago: Convexity of difference of log-sum-...
18
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5answers
1k views

Contest questions on math.SE

This is related to this post, please read the comments. What is the usual way of dealing with that kind of problems on math.SE? (By "that kind of problems" I mean someone posting tasks from an ...
18
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3answers
855 views

Understanding the community stand point on posts about self harming

Now before I state the question I had when I woke up this winter morning.. this is definitely not about me, or anyone I know. Anyway.. I was wondering what the protocol is for someone who claims ...
18
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1answer
662 views

Can an answer be confusing?

By answering the question Does $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{1}{n}$ diverge using an argument of Cauchy sequence I received several downvotes (and of course my question isn't about the downvote but just to ...
18
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1answer
1k views

I voted mistakenly to close as duplicate. When I realised my mistake, my comment explaining why was deleted.

I refer to this question: Comparing logarithms with different bases. Over-hastily, I flagged it as a possible duplicate of How to compare logarithms $\log_4 5$ and $\log_5 6$?. I also thought it was ...
18
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1answer
1k views

Is Math StackExchange aging?

I am just a relatively new user, so please correct me if I'm wrong. If you read about the questions with most votes in MSE, you can find that until the $35$-th of question, the questions are all ...
18
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1answer
563 views

On bibliographic references.

On this answer, which provides a bibliographic reference to one of the standard sources of information on the subject of question to which it is attached, was flagged for review for «low quality» and, ...
17
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2answers
613 views

What is a mod to do? (Traceless edits and “deletions”.)

A few users flagged this post to our attention. The reconstructed time-line based on users' comments seems to be: OP posted the question Some users saw the question, started to compose the answer. ...
17
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2answers
626 views

The “off-topic” close reason about homework questions

EDIT: There is now a new standard close reason that doesn't mention homework. (No TL;DR, please just read the question.) Background The new close reasons contain a designated option for homework ...
17
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2answers
1k views

Book recommendations

There are quite a few soft questions asking for book recommendations. Reading some of these threads one might notice that there are answers containing several books at once. As such this might not ...
17
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0answers
340 views

How closely must a question match a contest question to fall under our policy?

With the start of this academic year's USAMTS, we are going to get a some questions that have their origin in these problems, some more closely worded to the original than others. Perhaps it is time ...
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3answers
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Can a down/up votes be accompanied by a comment?

Having been here for a while now, I understand the futility/meaninglessness of this question. Becoming accustomed to how this place works and how much and fast I have learned from the people here, I ...
16
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1answer
368 views

Request: an easy way to access the posts on meta that explain policies or serve as tutorials or lists.

Today when I was going through the questions on our main site, I saw a question that showed absolutely no effort. But the op left a sentence "don't know where to start". Then I remembered I've seen ...
15
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8answers
2k views

On the continued impolite closure of questions by new users for the wrong reasons.

[Historical preamble. Since this old 2011 thread was recently bumped by another user, it is worth giving some context. Way back then it was much more difficult to get closed questions reopened, since ...
15
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3answers
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Proof Verification of Open Problems

Over the past few days, I've noticed several proof verification questions regarding open problems. On one, quid left the comment: I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks for ...
14
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6answers
2k views

Should we discourage the use of multiple redundant @username pings in comments?

EDIT $\ $ There is now an "experimental" SE software revision blocking comments with multiple @name's, see Jeff Atwood's answer below. As was mentioned in this recent question, only the first @name ...