51

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 $\tau$ ...


22

(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 ...


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 ...


19

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 ...


16

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 ...


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

We should set our standards high enough, that people doing the bare minimum to meet said standards, are still doing an acceptable amount. What those standards should be then is a question of "what is acceptable", and that's going to be a long conversation


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 ...


13

We prefer you do not ask a question using a photo of text. Instead, please transcribe it using MathJax. There are several reasons for this. Without text, the question is unsearchable, and it is unlikely another user with the same question will find it. The core principle of StackExchange is to provide help in a way that can also benefit spectators and ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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

Whenever I try to give a hint, I try not to give as much of the answer away as necessary. Most of the time, just a little nudge is enough for the poster to say, "Ah ha! Why didn't I think of that?" I can see why there's trepidation from other posters to give out the full answer - it does the OP no good (especially if they're doing homework) and ...


6

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 ...


5

I don't see anything offensive in highlighting a sentence using bold and agree that highlighting some key points in a long post increases readability, but, IMHO, highlighting an important sentence using > (blockquote) looks better, and bold (again, IMHO) better be reserved for highlighting just a word or two.


5

good question. First of all, we will never be able to crack down, as far as I can see, on people not doing the work or on someone cheating. We cannot enforce people coming on here and seeking out help on math problems on say take-home exams or contest problems, that surely they pledged to be doing on their own. At least I don't see it. So I'm not seeing how ...


4

I agree with @WillJagy: post a new question. (Of course, it may be helpful to preemptively defend against trigger-happy closevoters.)


4

A BBC News article Revision techniques - the good, the OK and the useless, mentioned by the recent Guardian's article The science of revision: nine ways pupils can revise for exams more effectively, might be related. Using highlighters (colours) would be bad as it would break up ideas into components and therefore break down the 'chain of thought'. People ...


4

Sometimes coloring is the best way to show how one step relates to the next or how different parts of one line are related, usually in a telescoping manner. $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\left(\frac1n-\frac1{n+1}\right)=\left(\frac11-\color{red}{\frac12}\right)+\left(\color{red}{\frac12}-\color{blue}{\frac13}\right)+\left(\color{blue}{\frac13}+\dots\right)$$ I think ...


3

I was not able to read the post in question, as it has most likely been closed or deleted. (The link did not work.) I also believe that downvotes are anything but an opinion. Without knowing the intentions of the "down-vote" exactly, I think it serves at least one other purpose; namely signaling the OP that something is not right with the question. Of ...


3

No, you can add a bounty to your question to attract users to it. You can also edit your original post.


3

The main reason to avoid using MathJax for color decoration of text is to improve accessibility on the site. Color blindness affects about 8% of males and 0.5% of females. This is presumably not uppermost in your thoughts as you apply color-for-emphasis, but user interface designers put effort into choices that maximize legibility for the Community as a ...


3

If your question / answer is useless to others due to your mistake, you can simply delete the question. If you already got answers, it is sad for them, but the first point remains valid. Sometime it is worth to keep the question and answer it yourself. But this is rare.


2

A comment above from Famous Blue Raincoat is probably the best answer to this question: The proposal Ban URL shortening services has (status-declined), in the sense that SE will not automatically stop these from being posted. However, users should feel free to edit to un-obscure problematic short links, or flag comments containing them. – Famous Blue ...


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