45

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 that clearly is intended to solve your homework, and your homework is "easy". I think it helps keeping this place orbiting around the genuine, difficult ...


44

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 frequently as a resource by finding questions through Google, but viewed the community as standoffish, with opaque expectations that she was bound to mess up in some ...


37

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" (and possibly making it a bit more detailed than it is now) and a small quiz to verify that they have read the rules. This method will reduce the number of new ...


32

Stackexchange sites are all different. For me, math.SE is the one SE site that's so frequently hostile that I've essentially stopped asking questions or giving answers. I don't know if I would fall in the category of "more casual users" that you have in mind. I double-majored in math and physics as an undergrad, but my graduate degree is in physics,...


31

This is supposed to be an all-purpose math site, and obviously not everyone in the world who has a math question knows how to use latex. Although learning latex is not so very hard, it is not trivial either, and assuming that people must have this skill in order to get continued service seems like a clear violation of the intended scope of the site. Also,...


27

It is impossible to notify downvoters; the possibility to do so comes up from time to time as a feature request (that might have some merits but is also open to abuse). The situation was handled quite well. You took the time to help the users that asked a question in quite a bad way (I mean especially the first case) and were told so be others via the ...


22

I want to draw your attention to these two questions: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/3000195/first-countable-space-is-sequentially-compact-iff-countably-compact https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/3000227/definite-integral-of-function-given-constraint It seems that 4 users with the names MSc Roberto, Robert PhD, Monsieur_Bobert and Bachelor ...


22

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 "mathematician" is a serious title reserved for those who do research, while I am merely a student.) For me, Math.SE is the only place where I can ask and ...


20

The motivation behind your idea is good; after all, the lack of MathJax editing can stir up confusion for both the asker and the helper. We all know MathJax's benefits. However, I'm not quite sure that adding a "tutorial" of some sort would really help out- it's easy to skip through the tutorial steps, especially when someone posts their homework question ...


19

Begin by reading tour, and help. Next, on this page (we being in meta), in the upper right hand corner search box, type "how to ask", and "how to answer", then read through those results as it benefits your mind. You will have much greater understanding after that. We use MathJaX to typeset our math here, it is just $\LaTeX$ in the browser. We are, as an ...


16

A couple of things Votes on meta don't mean the same as on the main site. A downvote can mean that people disagree with your position, it doesn't necessarily mean that people don't value your post. IMO a downvote should always be accompanied by a comment. The comment should explain what is wrong with the post. If a comment already exists, I think it is ...


15

A custom flag explaining the situation seems like a good idea when other initiatives are continually not taken up by the poster. Perhaps a note from a moderator is more effective than comments by regular users. Commenting on the answers is important as well; highly upvoted comments can indicate community opinion and may provide some "peer pressure" to ...


14

Yes there is! Just right click on the equation you want to view, click "Show Math As" and then click "Tex Commands"


14

We already do this more-or-less. It's not strictly the Tour but we show this page https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/ask/advice which even has a check-box. For reference, a link to the post (feature request) where this was introduced: Show “how to ask” advice before a new user asks a question.


14

The comment history on the answer doesn't exactly look good for anyone involved in the discussion. I might suggest, when you feel a little calmer, that you flag it for moderator attention and ask them to delete all the comments -- they certainly add nothing to the discussion. I can understand your frustration that the "answer" written was ...


13

This may be a controversial answer, but I think the low investment of users in non homework cases maybe due to the following: The mathematical maturity of the user is not enough to understand the content of the comment and they are shy to ask clarification. The user is either preparing for an exam/ a course, so they can't spend more than some reasonable ...


12

They tend to just up vote the answer. Users cannot vote until they have 15 points (and are registered). There is a good chance that the vote you see came from someone other than the new user. But every user is able to accept answers to their question (unless they lost access to their account). If you think they are unaware of the feature, you can ...


12

It depends on the context. If the answer ends with "Cheapp j0rdan shoes! yg59drhey@yahoo.com" then you should certainly flag. But in this case, the reason appears to be benign: the answerer welcomes email in case of follow-up questions. Maybe s/he does not plan on visiting SE again (which would be sad, but it's their choice). I would let it be.


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 ...


12

In the linked posts from the main meta site, it says: The new indicator works by the age of a user's first visible post. This could be a question or answer, and the association bonus won't influence the behavior. While you might not be new to our engine, everyone is new when they first join a new community, so the indicator is shown. A literal reading of ...


12

I agree that the First Posts review queue calls upon Reviewers to do more than simply downvote and close. The instructions at the top of that page say: This is the first question asked by a new user. Help them learn to use the site by reviewing their post. An anonymous downvote or vote-to-close without feedback is particularly unlikely to "help them ...


11

This is live; I went with a variation on Normal Human's proposed guidance: To improve the chances of your question getting an answer, make sure that it: Uses MathJax formatting for math formulas Has an interesting, specific title that summarizes the question Describes what you know and what you don't understand (don't just copy a textbook problem!)Here are ...


11

I think amWhy's and Isa's comments above point out THE major problem with this for new users: a user needs 20 reputation to participate in chat, and most users who would benefit from talking to someone in a Welcome to MathSE chatroom don't have that much, are usually not asking the sorts of questions that will get them that crumb of reputation. Furthermore, ...


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

We already had users posting pornographic pictures, or stuff like that. I think that's a good enough reason. At the very least require someone to add something of possible value to the site before adding something very terrible.


10

Of the people I know—and some of them are mathematically inclined—Math SE is not super well known. Most of the people are not surprised it exists, but have not specifically used it. I don't know that I've ever heard specifically about it being unwelcoming. Of the people who have heard of it, some pages just come up in a search and they get what they want, ...


10

I would like to share my view on the two Stack Exchange (SE) sites that I — a high school student — use the most: Mathematics SE and Physics SE. I agree that both sites are vast repositories of quality scientific and mathematical knowledge. However, this view is based on how new users are treated. My personal experience with Mathematics SE was so good ...


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