50

There's no formal guideline about using $\tau$ instead of $2\pi$. But anyone who uses $\tau$ should remember that it is not standard notation. In particular, the notation $\tau$ for $2\pi$ is not used in textbooks, and those with little mathematical knowledge are unlikely to know what $\tau$ is supposed to mean. At the same time, if someone does use $\tau$ ...


37

I am sorry that you've had a bad initial experience on MSE. I have never heard of anyone encountering all the problems you describe. I suggest that you try the math chatroom. You can describe what's been happening to you and see if anyone there has had the same experiences, and perhaps someone there might have a suggestion for how to solve whatever has gone ...


35

A similar question was answered by the SE employee Shog9 a while ago: I hate to sound callous about this, but... This isn't a support group; y'all probably aren't trained to deal with the outpouring of grief and despair of someone you've never met and may have absolutely nothing in common with. I'm certainly not. Indeed, there's a decent chance that ...


22

In general, I prefer more tags to fewer tags. Assuming I would like to read all calculus questions (heaven forbid), it's a lot easier to mark calculus as a favorite tag than to have to keep track of dozens of sub-tags. Related: I was just getting a little annoyed with another user who removed the in my opinion most relevant tag from a bunch of his (own) ...


21

As the author of the post who likely initiated this one, I would like to chip in. Jonas is known for very well-written and thought-out posts. In my reply I will simply list thoughts that come to my mind, which aren't necessarily related to one another: (1) Privacy policy: It stands to assume that a privacy policy exists to avoid ugly he says-she says ...


21

(I'm a new user so I don't have anything to contribute as far as norms here go, but I'm really interested in how to effectively convey information in an accessible way!) Like others have said, the most obvious downside is colorblind people and people using screen readers. Colorblind people will miss information and so you should make sure the color doesn't ...


20

Don't worry about it. $\ddot\smile$ There are many reasons why older posts may not have comments, not the least of which is that comments are ephemeral. From the Help Center: Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. They can be up-voted (but not down-voted) and flagged, but do not generate reputation. There's no revision ...


19

There is nothing wrong in being witty. But. Question titles should be descriptive. As the help message for the title field puts it What's your math question? Be specific That's especially important nowadays when there are lots and lots questions on Math.SE. Good question titles are like (random examples from the current main page) 'If $f:X\to Y$ is ...


18

Don't post multiple questions as one question. Don't spam the site with too many questions. So, what should you do? Take it easy and ask a few questions at a time, respond to the comments, read the answers and take your time to absorb them. Come back the next day and ask a few more questions. And so on. (Thanks to Martin Sleziak for gathering the relevant ...


16

I would prefer that plagiarism were handled by the moderators, since I think it's best to minimize the amount of drama and mudslinging here on meta. However, this requires that the moderators do handle plagiarism allegations with diligence and seriousness. That the moderators were aware of amWhy's plagiarism almost a month ago and joked about it/did nothing,...


15

tl;dr: Your answer should have been a comment. StackExchange is a network of Q&A sites dedicated to matching high-quality answers to high-quality questions. The problem with your answer is that it was not high quality, not that it was really short. We are perfectly accepting of informative short answers. The problem with your answer is two-fold: ...


15

A problem is that it is not a semantically correct use. At the moment the formatting used by SE on this site for block-quotes is such that optically its usage for emphasis makes sense. Yet, this could change at any point in time. Moreover, already now I feel it is not really the case on the mobile site. In addition, imagine some machine reads the site to ...


14

Unless you are a moderator, there isn't really a method to communicate privately with another user. If a comment and reply were expected before every edit, the comments would become littered with messages about editing. However, if an edit might affect the meaning or tone of a post, a comment asking about the change would be a courtesy.


13

To answer to Jonas' question. How is plagiarism best handled by non-moderators? $(1)$ Flag the offending post for moderator attention. Try to provide as many details as possible in your flag. $(2)$ Leave a comment which indicates the source, and explain that it should be cited. $(3)$ Depending on the scenario, the user should contact the moderators ...


13

Moderator Erik Naslund remarked here: I would like to thank each user who pointed out and flagged these different threads, as discovering such plagiarism would be nearly impossible without your help. That could only happen because the original plagiarism was made public. In particular, I was aware of one instance but was willing to write it off as a ...


13

In $\LaTeX$ you would normally write $x^2=y^2$,. In $\LaTeX$ that does not cause the comma or period to get pushed to the next line. In MathJax sometimes it does, so I have begun writing $x^2=y^2,$ instead. If you use double dollar signs, thus $$ x^2=y^2, $$ then of course (either in $\LaTeX$ or in MathJax) you need the comma inside the display, since ...


13

I would not want such things to occur too much. If all posts had such a bounty, it would turn into chaos. But I don't think anything is wrong if you do this on occasion. I don't want to say that all must act grim and unhumorous to do math. Did this particular bounty bring about a solution with no flaws? Probably not. But did it hurt anything? Not in my ...


12

"Epidemic" suggests that they number of such questions has been growing dramatically, but that's not the case as far as I can see. They've been with us for all of the year I've been using MSE. There's also a lingering debate on how to deal with them. Many commenters are quick to chide new users for their use of the imperative mood specifically, which I ...


12

It appears to me that this is definitely behaviour in the spirit of the review system. Therefore you are definitely not doing something wrong. If this were the Low Quality queue or the Close Votes queue, I would have nothing to add. However, I would like to add that the First Posts review queue is a bit special, in that it provides us with an opportunity ...


11

(I've never used Meta before -- I noted there's no answer yet, but a lot of comments, so I hope I'm not doing something wrong) To first give an example of what I would consider good coloring; I like the explanation of Fourier Transform, on betterexplained and technically copied from altdevblogaday): To be fair, he could have made it a little easier for ...


10

If you haven't yet received an answer, answer it yourself. That way, no one will add an answer which merely expresses what you'd already discovered yourself (which would be a waste of time) and your question can be taken off the unanswered list. If you have received a (useful) answer, then maybe leave a comment on your question. If an answer helped you ...


10

Ananth, I do wonder what you mean by "reputed" users. If you mean the experienced ones on Math.SE, of course they should be role models for new users. Yes, if no one answers a question asked by a new user, one should step in and seek clarification. It was really nice for you to be so welcoming to the new user when she posted that other question and told her ...


9

Your answer is definitely better as a comment; this is less a policy per-se than perhaps a thing of mathematical understanding. The question of: Solve in the positive integers... would generally mean "find every solution". I've certainly encountered questions of the form "Are there solutions to this equations?" or "Aside from these solutions I found, are ...


7

Thanks for bringing this up. I think that the course of action is entirely situational. For example, there may be a complicated solution that took hard work to derive and write up, but it so happened that two people had the exact same idea and wrote essentially the same thing within a couple of minutes of each other. (This is not hypothetical - it ...


7

I'm going to get a little personal here, since I have experienced suicidal ideation. About 13 years ago, I found myself living on the streets because of severe depression. After a couple of weeks, I couldn't handle it anymore and reached out to a number of agencies who were supposed to deal with these situations. When the suicide hotline asked for medical ...


7

A couple of times I've had a problem, not with math.SE but with StackOverflow, in which pages open up with incorrect formatting of headings, menus, etc., apparently due to the CSS for the site getting corrupted in my browser's cache. So it may be worth emptying your cache if the site format looks weird/unreadable. Apart from that, I'm sorry you had a bad ...


6

Always note: There is nothing wrong with editing a poor-quality post; this is a community driven website. Make sure that the edit is very meaningful and respects the original author. Do not make unnecessary additions to the post unless a community wiki. Sometimes, people do think that it is disrespectful to their post when you edit it, but it's not! An edit ...


6

I think it is difficult to come up with a single decisive recommendation here. Yes, imperatives sound rude in the light of the voluntary nature of this project. But, I agree with Henning Makholm that these imperatives are usually just so because they verbatim homework copies, so I am not offended by the imperative as such. But if there is no sign of the OPs ...


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