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 ...


42

If for no other reason than to filter out such questions for those who don't want to take the time to analyze a proof, I think this is a good idea. When someone has some time and feels like reviewing and critiquing, this tag should be just right. I think that this tag would be useful.


34

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 ...


27

This seems to be an accepted practice, as many others have done it, and I can't recall reading any objections. Personally, I have a small objection, namely, if your proof is correct, there's not much anyone can do except answer "Yes" (with enough non-printing characters to make the answer long enough to be posted). Let me propose an alternative course of ...


21

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 ...


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 ...


18

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, ...


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 ...


16

Yes...


16

There are quite a lot of XY problems so that people may sometimes have difficulties understanding what OP is really asking and directly answer the mathematical problem highlighted in the post. There were cases that one asked what went wrong in one's attempt while what one really cared was the solution itself. On the other hand, if one wants to avoid ...


15

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 ...


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 ...


13

A question as to whether a certain self-made proof is correct or not has two drawbacks: The question is usually extremely localized; it is not that likely that somebody else will come up with exactly the same proof and wants to know whether the proof is correct. Somebody else might want a proof, but the proof is likely not to be the most canonical, for ...


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

I'll add a suggestion from Asaf's comment as an answer - so that people can upvote/downvote/comment. We already have proof-writing, which can be used this way. The tag-wiki says: Questions with the (proof-writing) tag are about the presentation of a mathematical proof. Questions might include: Should I include [x-mathematical detail] at [y-part ...


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

I agree with Qiaochu. I would leave a comment asking what part of the proof is proving troublesome. If the proof is okay, a CW response to that effect seems proper. If there is significant correction necessary, that would probably warrant some helpful suggestions.


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 ...


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 ...


9

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. ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


8

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 ...


7

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


7

No problem whatsoever. Remember to show your work, give context and details. That's all.


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