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66 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 ...
Asaf Karagila's user avatar
  • 395k
56 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 ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
54 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, ...
davidlowryduda's user avatar
  • 91.9k
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 ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
49 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" ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
48 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 ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
41 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. ...
davidlowryduda's user avatar
  • 91.9k
36 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 ...
user21820's user avatar
  • 58.1k
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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
28 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) ...
Nij's user avatar
  • 3,000
28 votes

Is Math Stackexchange only for experts?

Yes, I think it is harder to ask appropriate questions at a high-school level. But I don't think it's because of the subject matter - I've answered several questions about how percentages work, and ...
JonathanZ's user avatar
  • 10.9k
27 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 ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
27 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 ...
Wildcard's user avatar
  • 3,047
27 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 ...
Brevan Ellefsen's 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 ...
paul garrett's user avatar
  • 52.7k
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 ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
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 ...
Asaf Karagila's user avatar
  • 395k
25 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 ...
Carlos Gruss's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Is asking to verify my P=NP proof appropriate?

No. It is not. This is not the purpose of this website.
Asaf Karagila's user avatar
  • 395k
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 ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
24 votes
Accepted

Is there an appropriate stackexchange site related to speculative mathematics

Questions about papers in arxiv.org which represent learning opportunities are now discouraged and flagged as improper and closed. As one of the close voters of the question you linked to as an ...
John Omielan's user avatar
  • 48.7k
24 votes

Can I make a post just for curiosity?

A large part of our purpose here (or my purpose, anyway) is to build a library of knowledge that will be useful to others. We (or I) hope to build the library in the form of a collection of high-...
D.W.'s user avatar
  • 4,845
23 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to ask for an exercise or example?

A cursory search shows that such questions have been well-received in the past: Posts containing "exercises". As Roddy MacPhee suggests, almost all of these use the ...
Robert D-B's user avatar
  • 2,216
23 votes

Can I make a post just for curiosity?

Here is my observation about how the Community deals with random made-up questions : I myself have interacted with user Dan who currently has 200+ questions , mostly made up by random curiosity and ...
Prem's user avatar
  • 10.9k
22 votes

Can I Ask Questions About, and to Help, My PhD on Stack Exchange?

Yes, asking for a reference for a particular result is often OK. Then cite that reference when you use it. My opinion: you would not also need to cite math.se for providing the reference. Similarly,...
GEdgar's user avatar
  • 112k
22 votes

Are intuition-based questions off-topic?

I find these questions about intuition to be extremely valuable. A perfect example of an intuitive explanation appears on p. 553 of Terence Tao's book Analysis II: Intuitively, one can think of ...
littleO's user avatar
  • 52.2k
21 votes

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

A note from the other side This may not be evident from a single superficial look at Physics SE's homework-policy canonical meta post, but please do not come away with the impression that it is ...
E.P.'s user avatar
  • 2,491
21 votes
Accepted

Word requests okay?

Yes, that's an admissible type of question. The relevant tag is terminology. Of course specific incarnations of such questions could have problems, e.g., they might be unclear or too vague. But, in ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
20 votes

Is it appropriate to ask questions about previously unexplored concepts?

[C]an [questions] involve new segments of math that the asker is researching into? I personally think such questions are perfectly on-topic. As Hardmath points on in a comment, it's quite possible ...
pjs36's user avatar
  • 18k

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