110

I am needy and insecure and derive validation from the gratitude of strangers.


77

Because solving mathematical problems is interesting, fun and it helps to keep mental acumen. I also find my teaching abilities, and perhaps writing abilities, to improve much faster because of this site. Also my grasp of advanced set theoretical concepts.


52

I would significantly prefer A question by a fluent speaker of a language that I don't know, translated into perfect English by someone who knows both languages, so that I can understand the translation immediately compared to A question in broken English, which I cannot understand, by someone who is only a fluent speaker of another language. I agree ...


40

I read a story about some guy who was deathly sick and to pass the time before he expired he began to read Euclid's Elements. Needless to say he made a miraculous recovery. I was also close to buying the farm so I joined a bunch of math forums and became a little active on a few here and guess what? I feel like a 85 year old again. Sharing what you have no ...


34

CRUDE, as described in its description, is an incredibly helpful tool. There is nothing unhealthy about "feedback/discussion/requests of Close/Reopen/Undelete/Delete/Edit for questions and answers on Math SE". People are conflating what CRUDE actively is and what it is described to be, imho. For instance, the close queue is not appropriate to the handling ...


33

I played with the layout settings and made this version: I feel like with this layout you can more clearly see the shape of the connectivity between tags. For example, the arrangement seems to be stretched out along a discrete/continuous spectrum. But on the discrete side, there isn't a lot of overlap between the algebraists and the computer-sciencey types.


31

"Karma." Whenever I use a new program, get an error message or install a new hardware, I use google to find my problem on some forum where usually someone already answered it free of charge. This person will never even know that I was helped by the answer. Whenever I have a question about language that is not well answered by my textbook or a question about ...


30

Some people do make an effort, just saying. This -- along with some means of actually making this visible in one's question -- is all people have been asking for. We (meaning the "bitter" people) want people to ask questions like this, rather than like this. The bitterness you refer to is that there has been a recent upheaval where it was realized that ...


30

There's something entertaining about answering questions that are hard enough to hold my interest but not so hard as to be a grueling experience. Also it's good to be helping students with math. I rarely use mathoverflow because the problems there are much harder and would take a while to solve if I even could. The problems in my field there often involve ...


28

Mathematics, unlike most other branches of human knowledge and experience, is relatively universal in the sense that everyone has to take some mathematics classes in their academic career. This means that a very large number of people either are currently, or have in the past, worked through the kind of basic algebra and calculus problems that show up here ...


21

In 2010 a psychology graduate student did one or two surveys on motivation for people using, and especially answering, on MO, see http://tea.mathoverflow.net/discussion/890/mathoverflow-survey-update/ Tausczik eventually published her results in psychology journals. She had been an undergraduate math major at Berkeley when MO was still in its formative ...


21

The site is faced with a content quality management problem$^1$. The number of questions outstrips the number of curators, so consequently the proportion of poor quality questions which live on grows ever more rapidly$^2$. Now, when a problem$^3$ and solutions exist, it is a simple matter to play the watchdog and complain about solutions you don't like. ...


20

I browsed the list of new users and took a look at how they were received. Most did not post anything yet, but almost all of those who did received non-negative scores, and more often than not, answers. Even some less-than-stellar questions such as Find Laplace Transform of the function were answered. One question was downvoted and then upvoted twice: How ...


20

Here is my totally honest, non-high-flown answer: I'm just trying to become better at math. Learning from a book and by homework exercises is not that interesting to me, but I really do enjoy teaching others. In addition, I find that I tend to give the clearest and most rigorous answers when I'm trying to explain something to someone who doesn't understand, ...


19

My answers on MathStackexchange are usually not too high level questions, simply because I'm not an expert in any math field. Now I notice that when I write an answer it is mostly when I see the problem and think I can write a concise "cool" answer or apply a tool that surprised my when acquiring it. If you have an aha-moment, you feel like now you're the ...


19

Keep it short, this question Vector field on an odd sphere by this user https://math.stackexchange.com/users/52042/b11 He "pinged" me six times to answer his question. I had already given everything necessary in my first comment. After I said I had done enough, he serially downvoted me and Zev. This person sees MSE as an alternative to ever reading his ...


16

To me this is a rather light-hearted idea that might be useful in some ways and might be a distraction in other ways. I think we should just give this a try and see how it works out. If it becomes too much of a distraction or a source of friction without much in return we can just shut it done again. The way this is envisioned, if the linked to models should ...


15

Swag is pretty nice, I think that useful swag is better. For the mathematician case, I can suggest the coffee mug (as Erdos' said "a mathematician is a machine turning coffee into theorems") and even better a writing pad... I could sure use a new one, and as Isaac suggests in the comments pens and such. Preferably black, but blue works out just as well. As ...


15

I am sorry that you have not been feeling welcome here. I hope that this feeling will go away when you see how much "good" is actually going on here. And I hope that we might convince you that your feelings are mostly a misunderstanding. You write: ...from the comments to most of the posts I have seen over the last couple of days on meta, nobody really ...


15

I'm going to invert this a bit. First, I'll answer your title question: Yes. ...but you probably don't have much of a reason to care, at least for the concerns you seem to be bringing up in the body of your question. The question isn't "Will lots and lots of people see my question?" but "Will the people who can and want to answer my question well see my ...


13

I was going to write just a comment, but there are several points to be made here so I decided to promote my 2 cents to an answer. My observations regarding CRUDE, the state of MSE, and this topic: Most people are in agreement that there is a problem with the average quality of a new question (the severity of the problem is subject to dispute); Some people ...


12

Well I hope this doesn't sound naive, but I just love teaching. At work I get paid for it, which of course is brilliant, getting paid for doing something you enjoy. But I'm still happy to do more, so there's MSE. And I guess reputation is payment of a kind. So in a way I suppose you could say it's all about me, though I do also think that helping (in ...


11

My education does not feel for naught when I can answer a rare, specific question. This increases my satisfaction in learning. Every question is a challenge. Can I come up with the answer? If already answered, can I come up with a different answer? Climbing the reputation ladder is fun. Given my current reputation, I feel like I am a valuable ...


11

There are several reasons to try: it will add some variety to the sidebar the design is nice (also optimized for high-density pixel displays) it would bring more occasional expert visitors (such as MO users) to the featured tab. People used to SE interface eventually tune out that small red rectangle with a number on it; this ad is more likely to catch ...


11

The picture at https://mathoverflow.net/questions/8846/proofs-without-words/8847#8847 seems to have many adepts. (I would redraw it without the arrows if I had to do it again...) The image can be regenerated in, say, SVG form with the following Mathematica code picture[n_, {i0_, j0_}, cs_] := Graphics[{ EdgeForm[{Thickness[0.0015], Black}], ...


11

My preference tends towards the geometric and visual rather than text. So I voted up Mariano's binomial-counting-formula. But I'd also be keen to take something from an actual MSE thread. Perhaps the tessellation thread:


11

Is CRUDE healthy? You mean right now!? I dunno. Heck, I don't even know when right now is! Perhaps the more important question is Can CRUDE be healthy? Certainly. Though it would probably be more healthy with a more diverse group of users taking part in it. That and the users involved must hold themselves to high standards, and remember that they are part ...


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