44

Many aspects to this. I agree to a great extent with the points raised in the other answers. Yes, there are XY problems. Yes, the question is not here just for the benefit of the asker, and this shows in our expectations and also in the answers. I want to emphasize one aspect not present in the other answers. The actual mathematical problem underlying ...


33

1) A homework problem (with book citation) Excellent. This provides part of the context, namely where the problem came from. Sadly, many other people don't even bother to state this, and is one possible factor for closure. 2) The inquirer's workings towards an (ultimately incorrect) final answer Great. As long as it is readable, it is perfect. 3) The ...


22

Most of the time it is in my opinion and observation possible to give a more detailed answer. Points that can often be addressed include: Suggesting minor improvements of the presentation or variations. Giving a high-level summary of the argument. Mentioning points where details might be added (even if not strictly needed). Putting the argument in a ...


20

Not the exact answer to your situation, but it might give some idea, so in that sense, this answer is also an alternative answer to the question that you are asking. We are not your tutor in here, nor this is a website you are getting personalised service; even though you are owner of your own question, the main purpose of that question is to both help you, ...


19

One problem with this is that often in these cases, the asker is not directly interested in finding a solution, but just wants reassurance that what they've done is correct, or to know where they've gone wrong. Otherwise they can always include a statement along the lines of "I would also be interested in other methods of solving it" at the end of the ...


17

I don't think it's a good idea to post your attempt at an answer. If you're not sure about it, then it is more a part of the question. If you figure it out after asking, though, go ahead and post your new solution. I include my attempt in the question. I start by stating the problem, which I highlight with a > to make it stand out. Then I give my general ...


17

Your first example is structured like this: [mathematical statement] Is this statement true or false and why? [attempt at proof] Is this way of looking at it right or not? It is entirely fair to answer that question with a different proof. This OP doesn't know whether the statement is true or false. Proving it false is an answer to the question. The ...


14

Personally I think that it would be bad practice to close a question that is perfectly valid, it just doesn't feel right. (This is possibly in part because the question isn't really a duplicate, it is just about the same subject matter so I object to calling something a duplicate when it's not.) It might also annoy people who ask this type of question if ...


14

As detailed elsewhere (see How to answer proof-verification questions?) I do not consider it as best practice to post only "this is correct" as an answer. Usually, something more can be said to make for an actual post (see the above mentioned post). Dually, I agree with the view expressed on Best way of asking "check my proof" questions, that ...


12

The main danger with asking multiple questions on a single theorem is that you could easily write several posts where the effort required from answerers is duplicated from question to question - for instance, if answerers must read significant chunks of identical text or point out the same error over and over. This doesn't rule out asking about multiple ...


11

Please add tags like proof-verification and solution-verification to these questions. There are now 367 questions in those tags but the untagged number is much higher. There are a lot of users in one of the two categories: prefer to read/answer these postings, which by definition contain "displayed effort" want to avoid questions that involve line-by-line ...


11

The "is this correct" questions are actually useful. They show that the user has some reasoning process, and wants to be sure that he is not making mistakes, silly or otherwise. I believe that outlawing such questions would go against the purpose of this site, which is to help users answer their questions and to verify their work. Asking "is this correct" ...


11

It seems that there are two separate issues in what you are asking. So let me address them separately: Is it okay if I use this site to have someone check my work? This was discussed here on meta many times, you can check some questions tagged solution-verification here on meta. For example: http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/4597/best-way-of-...


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 ...


10

When I first started studying rigorous mathematics I couldn't tell a proof from a carrot. I wasn't in a formal educational institution at the time and relied heavily on feedback from mentors in my personal life that were well trained in mathematics. If it weren't for them I would be at a very different place professionally today. The reason I share this ...


9

The best way to ask check-my-proof questions is not to simply ask users to check your proof. In what follows I've been strongly influenced by Raphael's answer on meta.cs.SE, and somewhat echo Qiaochu Yuan's answer to a previous meta.math.SE question. Questions of the form I have to prove that if ${D_{M,K}}$ is a universal factor, then $\Psi \le-1$. Here'...


9

In my opinion, no, you do not need to say in the title that it is a proof-verification --- in fact, you do not even need to say that it is a proof. Phrases such as "Prove that", "Proving that", "How to prove", "Solve", "How to solve", "How to show", etc. in titles usually don't add any meaning to a question. That is to say, These phrases should be used in ...


8

Note that "proof-writing" is often abused, because it is for questions how to write a proof, not about a special thing that someone shall prove. As Asaf Karagila mentioned in a comment it would be much better, if they ask their question and write an answer on their own, and the others would comment mistakes and errors on the answer. This has a lot of ...


8

It really depends on where you are in learning mathematics. If you're at the stage where you can look at a proof and be confident about whether it is correct, then asking such questions is not likely to have great value to you (and you'll probably recognize that) - the challenge of mathematics would be more in generating the proofs than in checking them. ...


7

I would advice you to put it in one question. You should tag it as proof-verfication and as alternative-proof, along with other tags regarding the field of the question. If you will have two questions, then the question about another proof will have to show some attempts. If you post the same proof again, then people will do double work, namely then they ...


7

(Too long for a comment, but this is not really an answer). You're right - these are not typically good "archival" questions. Later users benefit somewhat less from stumbling across these questions compared to a standard well-defined question+good answer. But many users here view MSE as a teaching platform, and worry a bit less about the later user and ...


7

While there could be some meaningful distinction (in theory) this does not seem to work well in practice. I checked a bit manually, and also observed that 150 questions (this are almost 20 percent) of the questions tagged solution-verfication contain the word "prove" (and rather not in the way "I do not need to prove this I just need the solution"). To ...


7

Yes, as long as you show your work and make sure the question hasn't been asked before! That is, surf the "set-theory" tag a while, and maybe you'll find answers to your questions. Also, exploit the search button.


7

YES! Use this tag in your question: solution-verification But just show what have you tried, as needed in homework.


7

The -verification questions are either the the worst ("too localized") or the best (maximum "research effort") type of question on the site. Opinions differ. The important thing is to add the tag proof-verification or solution-verification so as to advertise the nature of the question clearly, and machine-readably. Without the tag, there is no way to see ...


7

Two aims are involved here: (1) we need discipline on the site to keep answers relevant to the questions to which they are attached; (2) we do not want to make people feel bad about posting a correct and elegant proof of a result for the enlightenment of those who, whether as OP or visitor, have evinced some interest in the result. We would be entirely ...


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