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It is quite important that questions contain enough stand-alone context to be answerable with the text alone. Therefore, I would strongly discourage questions where critical or important context is .. off-site at another hyperlink, which can go dark or become unavailable at any time in an image file that is not searchable or easily parseable as text It is ...


26

This is an almost verbatim copy of https://cstheory.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/274/is-it-ok-to-ask-about-the-correctness-of-preprints-on-crank-friendly-topics/281#281 A Proposed policy for questions on preprints. (in the form of an FAQ. Am marking it CW for further edits) There are good ways to ask about new seemingly exciting results in Math, and ...


23

There's no written policy (until now, I guess), and each mod has his or her quirks (so the discussion below is guaranteed to apply only if the handling moderator is yours truly). While you asked about "not constructive", let me be more ambitious and answer in the greatest generality. Before saying anything else, let me first say this: Moderation on each ...


21

Questions should be as self-contained as possible. SE questions are intended to be a long-term resource, analogous to Wikipedia articles, so they shouldn't rely on links that could easily become broken in the future.


20

I don't think a scanned image is the culprit. If somebody wants to scan a page of text (copyright issues aside) and say "I don't see how equation 2 follows from equation 1-I think this is a counterexample, can you help?" the criteria of giving some thought and showing some work can be satisfied and I would be happy to see it. On the other hand, if the page ...


17

Burnside lemma and Pólya enumeration theorem examples Observe that the convention at the OEIS is that the term necklace refers to the slots being arranged around a circle with rotational symmetry acting on them. Similarly the term bracelet indicates reflections acting on the slots in addition to rotations. This is the difference between the ...


17

I'm very encouraging of computational mathematics questions. After all, it's a large part of my job. I think it's agreed upon that mathematically themed questions relating to computer software are on-topic. The grey area comes when we talk about technical questions with no immediate mathematical content. Personally, I don't see the problem with asking ...


16

For good real-world examples, go to the main list of questions and sort by votes. The highest voted 100 questions or so tend to ones that became blockbusters by resonating with the internet fad of the day and being linked from some high-traffic site. But if you fast-forward to the questions with a score of (say) 25 to 40, most of those will be ones that are ...


15

Approach0 Searching for a specific formula is often rather difficult. A tool which is very suitable for this is the Approach0 search engine. Some basic information can be found in Guide for New Users (which contains also animations of some examples). If you want to know more about the project, you can look at the documentation. Approach0 uses mathquill ...


14

More for my own sake than anything else. Integration duplicates tend to be quite hard to find due to the large amount of symbols in titles. Here is a short list of some famous integrals that pop up periodically Integration integration The Gaussian integral: Proving $\int_{0}^{\infty} \mathrm{e}^{-x^2} dx = \dfrac{\sqrt \pi}{2}$. More proofs here. The ...


13

I am personally not too thrilled about having moderators automatically close such questions. I say so for two reasons: The use of binding moderator votes should be in situations where it is very clear cut. There are generally shades of gray when it comes to issue of question quality. Moderators should not be the only force shaping the future of the ...


13

This is just an initial point, not a complete and formed opinion. Somewhat of a long comment. There is a distinct difference between the question appear in your first comment, discussing how to perform certain mathematical operations in Maple, and questions such as a recently closed one which asked "How to use “-m memory ” with GAP?". The key difference, ...


12

Imagine this wasn't Math.SE, but Writing.SE. Questions on how to properly format, say, a rejection letter to a job applicant would be on topic. (Should it be justified? Should the font look formal? Should we write in the passive voice?) Questions on how to use Microsoft Word, however, would be off-topic. Convert this notion to Mathematics. A question ...


11

Entering one's real name as username would be an easier decision if it was reversible. In practice, it is not. Even if a user changes the username or parts ways with the site altogether, the comments with @FirstnameLastname will show up in Google search and disclose that person's affiliation with the site. Personally, I would not encourage anyone (and ...


10

I have found an error in a book/paper. What do I do? It might happen that an answer to your question has revealed a mistake in the book or paper you are studying. It is generally good practice to notify the author about such a mistake. Many authors maintain a list of errata (errors), and the error can be corrected if a new edition of the book is published. ...


9

There ought to be an entry for the calculus / limit classic: $$\lim_{n\to\infty} \left(1+\frac xn\right)^n = \exp x$$ I found these posts on it so far: About $\lim \left(1+\frac {x}{n}\right)^n$ Intuitive proofs that $\lim\limits_{n\to\infty}\left(1+\frac xn\right)^n=e^x$ Proving $\lim \limits_{n\to +\infty } \left(1+\frac{x}{n}\right)^n=\text{e}^x$. $\...


9

Frequent duplicate induction problems Partial sum of geometric series Sum of binomial coefficients is $2^n$ $2^n > n^2$ $2^n > n$ If $n>2$, then $(n!)^2>n^n$ $1 + 2 + \cdots + n = \frac{n(n+1)}{2}$ (Maybe there is a better duplicate that focuses more on a proof by induction rather than just any proof--this duplicate may be a good choice, for ...


8

Lists of questions There are also various lists of questions which might help when searching for some topic (some of them generated by the Stack Exchange software, some of them created manually). If you click on ask question and fill at least the title (perhaps also tags) the software generates a list of questions that are similar. As pointed out by some ...


7

Built-in-search The site has built-in search engine - the search bar is near the top of the site. Notice that after you get to search results a link with "Advanced Search Tips" become available - it contains various search modifiers. (Advanced search options can also be found in the help center.) Some useful advice: Notice that search results can be ...


7

Google You can simply use Google with the restriction to this domain, using (in addition to the search query) site:math.stackexchange.com. (Of course, you can also use any other search engine where this restriction is possible.) For example, you can use the search: triangular numbers site:math.stackexchange.com to get to relevant posts about triangular ...


6

Hypergeometric/Summation Identities summation Rather than have these broken up among algebra-precalculus, proof by induction, combinatorics, etc. I am gathering them all in one place. Faulhaber identities (sums of powers) $\sum\limits_{k = 1}^n k = \frac{k(k+1)}{2}$ (triangle numbers) What is the term for a factorial type operation, but with summation ...


6

Is it at all reasonable to just point out that we are aware of MO existence on the help/faq page and say that if you cross-post to MO to link to it and reference it? It is certainly reasonable. But do keep in mind that this will be much more easily sorted out in the future: MathOverflow 2.0 is a-comin'! What, when and will we migrate questions to MO 2....


5

The comments to the original suggestion persuade me that this is a bad idea because it will produce an unbounded number of tedious and off-topic discussions like the one about "die/dice".


5

$\text{Steps:} \\ \begin{align}1.& \text{Right click this.} \\ 2. & \text{“Show Math As"} \\ 3. & \text{Click on }\TeX \ Commands. \end{align}$


4

Questions about [irreducible-polynomials] concerning generic methods: Methods to see if a polynomial is irreducible How to choose correct strategy for irreducibility testing in $\mathbb{Z}[X]$? Checking irreducibility of polynomials over number fields Techniques for checking irreducibility over the rationals Does irreducibility in $\mathbb Q[X]$ always ...


4

Another possibility (if you want to copy a large chunk of text with several formulas) is to click on edit (and, of course, not save the edits you make, just copy the part you need). Viewing source of the webpage also sometime works (View/Source in Internet Explorer, Ctrl+U in Mozilla Firefox). This way has some flaws - you don't see markup, but html. If TeX-...


4

[Edit: Arggg. Now I see that this topic is years old. It is probably best to disregard this whole post] I think it is fine if people are gently encouraged to use their real names when they sign up. But if such an encouragement is given, then I would also suggest that the Stackexchange's private policy is made very clear. Some might ask: how does SE deal ...


4

What, people actually read the FAQ? Perhaps another thing to do, when we come across a situation where OP has put in comments information that should be in the question, is to edit it into the question ourselves. Maybe the question is whether we should be encouraged to edit questions not our own.


4

I don't think that such an FAQ is necessary, though I'm not outright against it. I think that small spelling and grammatical errors are best dealt with as they always have been - by discreet editing of the post by users with sufficient reputation points. (Also note that your "die/dice" example illustrates that there can be surprising disagreement even ...


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