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103 votes

squeezing for further information once an answer is given

No you are not required to follow up in comments. At the same time I feel it is not unexpected and rather normal that an asker tries to engage somebody that answered in case something is open. I ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
92 votes

How to ask a good question.

Avoid "no clue" questions Too many questions begin or end with "I don't even know how to begin with this problem". While this may be true (you may genuinely have no idea how to ...
75 votes

Is it rude not to reply?

Nope. Nobody has the right to usurp your time. In fact, it is rude of someone to expect that you drop everything to answer every single follow-up question they may possibly have. You are here for ...
Ron Gordon's user avatar
  • 139k
73 votes
Accepted

Why do we need to avoid to thank somebody?

The comment you sketch is fine. This is not what is meant. What is meant is that one should not post "Thanks!!!!!!!!!!", "This is so interesting.", "Best answer ever!" on every other good post one ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
69 votes
Accepted

Engage with people from the fringes - or not?

Allow me to weigh in, in part as a long time contributor, in part as a set theorist who gets exposed to these type of questions perhaps more than the average mathematician, and in part as a moderator. ...
Asaf Karagila's user avatar
  • 395k
66 votes

Policy on smileys?

I am in favor of letting people express themselves with smileys. :-)
Elle Najt's user avatar
  • 20.8k
61 votes
Accepted

What's the reputation of MathSE among students and more casual users?

Here are some of my experiences talking about math.se in the real world. I knew a well-meaning but struggling sophomore math major who felt too afraid to post a question here. She used the site ...
Alexander Gruber's user avatar
  • 27.1k
58 votes

Is "playing dumb" considered un-helpful?

Having been on the Internet a while now, I know that no matter how genuinely confused I am, and no matter how politely I try to phrase my question, there can still be someone who thinks I am just ...
MJD's user avatar
  • 65.6k
56 votes
Accepted

Is it acceptable to answer a poor quality question?

Strictly speaking, to provide an answer to a question with bad formatting / lack of context does not break any rule. If you suggested such user to improve his/her question you did the right thing. The ...
Jack D'Aurizio's user avatar
46 votes

What's the reputation of MathSE among students and more casual users?

This is THE place. I call this place a "super computer". And it is. It is true that maybe it is a harsh place for newbies, but that is not 100% true. It is harsh only if you ask something ...
Carlos Toscano-Ochoa's user avatar
44 votes
Accepted

Is it bad to edit your own answer several times?

Gerry Myerson's reply is factually correct, and I do not want to dispute it, only add to it: The goal of the site is to have a repository of clear, complete, and correct answers. Those answers will ...
43 votes
Accepted

Can actual names with vulgar words be used on Mathematics SE?

Generally it is alright to use language that otherwise would seem vulgar or offensive if it is established/technical usage, for example Stack Overflow has an entire tag brainfuck, because somebody ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
41 votes
Accepted

Is there a shorter and more opinionated version of "How to ask a good question?" that we can direct new users to?

Because solving your immediate mathematical problem is secondary to this website's goal of being a repository of high-quality, useful, searchable mathematical Q&A, and because you want to help ...
Calvin Khor's user avatar
39 votes

Don't review a first question by simply downvoting it or voting to close it

Originally intended to be a comment, but I find that it is more of an answer than a comment. I would suggest modifying the website to force newcomers to read the "Asking a good question" (...
KingLogic's user avatar
  • 1,471
35 votes

Why do we need to avoid to thank somebody?

Let me begin by saying that I'm not disagreeing with quid. Generally, comments with "Thanks!!!!!" are entirely useless. The "guideline" that you cite, is a network-wide guideline, and the MSE culture ...
Asaf Karagila's user avatar
  • 395k
35 votes
Accepted

Is it rude to tag someone in the comments of an old post and politely ask them to check out your new question related to another post?

"Rude" is maybe a strong word, but it is certainly discouraged. If you do it once, likely nothing much negative will happen. But as a rule please do not do this. An exception might be if the ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
34 votes
Accepted

Policy on smileys?

Personally, I don't like emoticons or emojis at all. Nevertheless, the policy I'd suggest is to only remove them (if you feel like it) if you are otherwise editing the post. Specifically, I would not ...
Derek Elkins left SE's user avatar
32 votes

Is it rude not to reply?

In the specific case you describe I second what J.M. said. In my opinion the most apt course of action is to state that you do not wish to elaborate. This has several advantages: OP knows there is ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
30 votes
Accepted

Has the upvoting really gone down?

Is this really happening or is it just me who feels that? In relative terms, yes, this effect is real. However, it is not that users stopped voting. In absolute terms more votes are cast. The issue ...
quid's user avatar
  • 42.2k
29 votes

How to ask a good question.

Pare question to its basics Pare your problem down to the minimum core problem. Instead of asking for $$\frac{\sin 2 k \sqrt{3 + q^3}}{b! (b-2)!} \int\limits_{x=0}^{\infty} \frac{e^{-x^2/(2 \sigma^2)}...
David G. Stork's user avatar
29 votes

What to do with my cross-posted question that got answered elsewhere?

I would recommend that you answer the question yourself, mostly because it would otherwise go on the Unanswered Questions queue for a silly reason. But also, answers from MathOverflow are not always ...
Mike Pierce's user avatar
28 votes

Is there any point answering/commenting/voting on old posts?

The whole point of stack exchange is to build a high quality collection of questions and answers for a given subject. If you think of things in these terms, it is irrelevant how old a question is. If ...
asmeurer's user avatar
  • 9,794
27 votes

Are questions necessarily "static"?

In general, it is considered poor practice to change a question drastically enough after an answer has been given. The person could have spent quite some time writing up a good answer, and if an edit ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 2,374
27 votes

Policy on smileys?

Like it or not, the following are true: we are not only rational, but also emotional human beings (not understanding this was the single biggest mistake of all European classical philosophy); as such,...
Alex M.'s user avatar
  • 35.3k
26 votes
Accepted

Is it acceptable to provide alternative solutions to proof verification questions after the "proof verification" has been answered?

An answer should be an answer. It should, at the very least, say something about the question that was originally asked. So I would say an answer that merely gives an alternative solution and does ...
Eric Wofsey's user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Answering a question too late

From a purely practical point of view: how you answer an older question might be different than how you answer a new question. Is frowned upon to do so? There's nothing frowned upon. The only ...
Trevor Gunn's user avatar
  • 27.3k
26 votes

User answering poor question while also voting to close

This is perhaps a little slanted towards the user who answered the question. Here goes: I've been caught between a temptation to answer and a desire to close before, and I agree it can be an ...
KReiser's user avatar
  • 66.2k
25 votes

Is "playing dumb" considered un-helpful?

I'd say it's completely down to the particular tone the user uses. Using "playing dumb" to point out user mistakes, on its own, is not bad in my opinion. I think, so long as it isn't taken to the ...
5xum's user avatar
  • 124k
25 votes

What's the reputation of MathSE among students and more casual users?

I am a person who was "good" at math in high school, but I would definitely consider myself an "enthusiast" rather than a "mathematician". (Somehow I feel that "...
qwr's user avatar
  • 10.8k

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