65 votes
Accepted

Can we ask about code in math.stackexchange?

My view has always been that programming questions are very much borderline. Here is the border, as I see it. Your question is about the mathematics of the algorithm. This could be about a specific ...
user avatar
  • 370k
55 votes
Accepted

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

I believe that questions asking for help in understanding a textbook argument are always on-topic, as long as reasonable context is provided. If the reason for the misunderstanding turns out to be ...
user avatar
53 votes

Is simple mathematics for learners allowed here?

Yes, this is a Q&A site for mathematics at all levels. However, all questions should be asked well, regardless of how "elementary" or "advanced" the content of the question may be. In particular, ...
user avatar
  • 86.1k
50 votes

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

This is acceptable if you can make your question reasonably self-contained. That is, for example: Your actual question could be how to calculate an integral, and this integral should be included ...
user avatar
  • 40.8k
48 votes

Is it okay to ask very basic questions on SE?

Yes, however when asking a basic question it is even more important to provide context, showing your work so far and what you have to work with/know. Example: Solve this equation for me: $3x +1 = ...
user avatar
  • 4,251
48 votes

Are intuition-based questions off-topic?

Intuition is extremely important in mathematics and not always explicitly taught in math courses. As a working mathematician, I need "hard" knowledge to prove and define things in detail, but "soft" ...
user avatar
47 votes
Accepted

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

How can I choose the preferred website to put my questions? I once read something along the lines "If you have to ask whether to ask on MO or math.se, likely you should ask it on math.se." I think ...
user avatar
  • 40.8k
40 votes

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

This is an interesting idea. I definitely see the appeal of getting learners of mathematics on this site. Used properly, Math.SE can be an incredibly effective resource for learning mathematics. ...
user avatar
  • 86.1k
35 votes
Accepted

Protocol for Answers Containing Claims of Cheating

I believe that such "answers" should not simply be flagged as "not an answer" because they are trying to bring a potentially bad situation our attention (in essence, they are much closer to being ...
user avatar
  • 49.9k
34 votes

Asking "Where did my math go wrong" questions

1) A homework problem (with book citation) Excellent. This provides part of the context, namely where the problem came from. Sadly, many other people don't even bother to state this, and is one ...
user avatar
  • 53.3k
30 votes

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

In cases like that the OP can't know that the confusion was caused by a typo. On-topicness should be decided by the question itself, not by what the answer turns out to be. Therefore it would seem ...
user avatar
29 votes

Should we allow people to ask whether their personal research is original?

"Is this original?" is not a good mathematical question on its own. The answers to that are "Yes" and "No" and neither one of them furthers anyone's mathematical knowledge. That said, I don't think ...
user avatar
  • 58.6k
28 votes

Are game-related mathematics welcome here?

This looks perfectly suitable to me. A good rule of thumb is that if the underlying question is fundamentally mathematical, and answering would not require any specific non-mathematical knowledge, ...
user avatar
  • 58.3k
27 votes
Accepted

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

Absolutely. Linking back to the old answer (not just the question; the URL for the answer itself can be obtained by clicking the share tool between the answer and the answerer's profile name) ...
user avatar
  • 2,807
26 votes
Accepted

Can we ask question by referring the equations, say, in an article in Wikipedia?

If it is at all possible you should make the question self-contained, that is you should reproduce the relevant content here (mentioning the source, and linking it for further context). There may be ...
user avatar
  • 40.8k
26 votes

Are questions about history on topic?

History of Mathematics was and is on-topic on this site, and I think it should continue to be on-topic. For an elaboration on why I think so see my other answer in this thread. The help center has ...
user avatar
  • 40.8k
26 votes

Why people get mad when someone posts their homework?

Firstly: I personally have never downvoted any questions.... Then you are not fully participating in the site. You should vote early and vote often. Also, the mouseover text on the downvote ...
user avatar
  • 2,951
25 votes
Accepted

What did you try?

It really depends on the situation. Sometimes asking "what have you tried?" is indeed useless. However, a lot of time it does give us some useful information. By showing what the questioner has tried....
user avatar
25 votes

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

It seems to me that inevitably it is not possible to qualitatively distinguish confusions/questions "typical to laypeople" from many of the questions/confusions arising among 20-year-olds taking ...
user avatar
  • 46.3k
25 votes

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

I'd avoid the word 'best;' it just causes the problem of subjectivity and does not bring much precision in return. You search for references in a relatively specific subject. Explain in a bit more ...
user avatar
  • 40.8k
25 votes
Accepted

Is it OK to ask a question that will (likely) involve some programming by the answerer?

I don't think there is a principle problem against questions and answers which involve programming. Some mathematicians do a lot of programming as part of their work. The issue here is the question ...
user avatar
  • 370k
25 votes

Is simple mathematics for learners allowed here?

You are not wrong that most of the posts on this site are at an Undergraduate level; however, all are encouraged to ask questions here! Though I have no facts to back me up here, I would say that the ...
user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

Academic advising should be explicitly off-topic

Totally agree, and should have done something about this a while ago. To this end, I additionally propose making a new custom close reason: Seeking personal advice. Questions about choosing a ...
24 votes

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

I think that these questions should be accepted, even if they may not be entirely valid. It is true that many of them are formulaic, include some "life story" aspect, and sometimes may even be called ...
user avatar
  • 17k
24 votes
Accepted

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

I'm new here, but I don't see why it would be a problem. From the about page: Mathematics Stack Exchange is for people studying mathematics at any level and professionals in related fields. We ...
user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

Is arithmetic mathematics and can we answer questions about it?

The question you mentioned should be closed. The argument given for closing it is arguably prone to cause confusion and dissent though. In our guidelines How to ask a good question. it is mentioned ...
user avatar
  • 40.8k
23 votes

What's the policy on answering a question where the correct answer is simply "yes"?

Sometimes a "yes" or a "yes you did it right" is all that's necessary; my own question history has a few of these. But many of the questions that tend to be answerable with "yes" are relatively simple ...
user avatar
  • 34.3k
22 votes
Accepted

Is this site the right one to get a review to a mathematical solution?

Yes, we even have a tag for that. Please, however, make sure you include the entirety of the question statement. Sometimes the other users may ask you for further clarifications (such as definitions ...
user avatar
  • 68.9k
22 votes
Accepted

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

Whether or not a question is homework or not, is not a major concern of mine. It is typically quite difficult to determine, and in those cases where it is more or less obvious the question is normally ...
user avatar
  • 40.8k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible