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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ask a question?

  • First, drill down to a specific discussion. Then follow the little yellow "sticky" note icon, -- the one labelled "Post New Topic."
  • For example, post to the sci.math newsgroup by clicking on Post New Topic
  • If you have a question about math, consider submitting it to the Forum's ask-an-expert service, Ask Dr. Math.

What happened to the message I posted?

  • Some discussions get moderated. Please consult your discussion's rules, guidelines, or other policy statement, and then check in with the moderators by looking up their contact information, often provided in green atop the archive or in the footers that appear at the bottom of every message successfully posted in that discussion.
  • Here are the guidelines or policy statements for
  • Technical errors do happen; data do get corrupted. Please bring your wayward messages to the attention of the discussions administrators, identifying them with as much information as possible (subject, timestamp, etc.).
  • If you posted by e-mail, please also consult the FAQ specific to discussions with mailing lists.

I need you to remove my post/threads/online existence.

  • Please bring that content to the attention of the discussions administrators, citing information about the message, such as the name of the discussion in which it appears, its subject, and its timestamp.
  • In some cases, deleting old post(s) outright would destroy the context of the ensuing conversation that other discussants contributed to. Instead, please consider allowing us to remove your personally identifying information throughout the discussion(s) in question, thereby rendering it anonymous.
  • If no one has replied to a message that you authored, you may edit it in our archives, yourself: just log in, navigate to the message, and click on the pencil-and-paper icon, -- the first one to the right of the timestamp.

When I registered, I set the "privacy" of my name or email to "hide." So how come I can see that information?

  • Selecting the "hide" button in your profile hides your name or e-mail address to everyone except yourself, which you may confirm by logging out and then re-visiting your profile.

What happened to the web address I put in my profile?

  • We regret that -- due to persistent and automated abuse of this feature -- we've hidden all text that discussants have entered for "Homepage."

Why do I get the message, "Sorry, you aren't allowed to see this"?

  • Some publicly viewable discussions, such as the inactive ones, no longer accept posting.
  • Still having problems? Write to the discussions administrator, identifying which forum or thread you're trying to see.

I'm a member of the Problem of the Week services. Do I have a login for the members-only PoW discussions?

  • Yes: log in to the discussions with the same username and password that you use to access the PoWs.
  • PoW members: your discussion username will not be your e-mail address. Instead, it probably begins with the first letter of your first name, then your last name, followed by some digits. Please check your confirmation welcome message (Subject: "Math Forum Subscription Information").

What happened to the message that I e-mailed to the mailing list? It still hasn't shown up in the Forum archives.

  • Our archiving software does not handle some e-mail formatting well. Messages with attachments, in particular, may not archive properly. We regret the inconvenience.
  • Rather than e-mail multi-part messages, please consider posting via this web archive -- which allows you to upload attachments -- by clicking the yellow sticky note icons, or
  • Or just mail the list with plain-text messages. To learn more about this issue, and see examples of how to configure e-mail client programs to send plain ASCII text messages, consult troubleshooting such as RootsWeb's Instructions for sending plain text mail and/or turning off HTML and RTF.
  • If you replied via e-mail to a "Math Forum <watch@..." notification message -- all of which begin and end, "DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE" -- re-open the notification message, follow the relevant link "To view and reply to the message ...," and post over the web.

I'm looking for textbook solution manuals that I saw advertised here.

  • For solution manuals, please contact the publishers directly.
  • We regularly clean our archive of commercial solicitations, spam, and other posts that do not pertain to mathematics or math education.

How do I unsubscribe?

  • If you receive notifications from "Math Forum <watch@...," log in, click Watches, check the boxes in the "delete" column, then hit the "delete" button.
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  • Look for an automated reply that shows the mailing list(s) you subscribe to -- for example, nameoflist; then send majordomo@mathforum.org a message with only these words in the message body: unsubscribe nameoflist

I need to correct a mistake in my post.

  • If no one has replied to a message that you authored, you may edit it in our archives, yourself: just log in, navigate to the message, and click on the pencil-and-paper icon, -- the first one to the right of the timestamp.

I've posted to Math Forum discussions before. Do I already have a login?

  • Yes, we have already reserved an account for you. Please reset your discussion account's password.

I think you set up a username (email) for me ... but I'm not sure. How do I log in to a username if it's an old e-mail address of mine that I've abandoned?

  • We've hidden some characters from your email address to keep it out of spammers' clutches. If you need help remembering an old email address of yours, please contact us -- preferably, with the numeric UserID from your user profile.

I don't want to log in to send messages. Can I still post anonymously?

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What's RSS? Why would I want to use it? How do I get it?

  • RSS is a time-saving, automated way to collect only the news you want over the web. For a primer on RSS, we recommend Lee LeFever's blog post, RSS Described in Plain English.

I participate by e-mail with my subscription to a mailing list. How does this web interface affect me?

  • It doesn't. You still get the group's messages in your in-box, and post directly to other subscribers by e-mail.
  • But if you want to refer to an archive of past conversations, or peek at what's happening in a related discussion, explore the web site -- searchable by participant, date range, category of discussion, and more.

I found spam in your archives!

  • Yuck. We routinely sweep our archives several times a day to manually remove the most recent unsolicited commercial e-mail. If the same spam persists for more than a business day, please bring it to the attention of the discussions administrators, citing information about the message such as the name of the discussion in which it appears, its subject, and its timestamp. Thank you for help!

What else can I do in this discussion area?

Lots! You can

  • search robustly: in addition to keywords, find
    • a specific discussant ...
    • during a date range you want ...
    • ... within a specific discussion, or across a category of related discussions -- or over all discussions
    Click on at the top of the Ma th Forum discussions; and check out more search tips
  • see discussions organized into categories such as "Education" and "Software"
    Click on at the top of the Math Forum discussions
  • look up individual discussants and see what they have posted
    Click on a username, such as the ones listed below any message, under that thread's "Author" column
  • get alerts of posts ("watches") from the discussants or discussions you select
    Login and look for the binoculars
  • post attachments over the web
    Look for the button in the new message composition window
  • format and spell-check before posting online
    Look for the button in the new message composition window
  • edit your own post if no one else has replied to it yet
  • use your own personal Control Panel to choose how many discussion threads to list on one page, show you the messages you've written, display or hide your e-mail address, and much more
    Look for in the left margin of the Math Forum discussions
  • get a feed of updates using Really Simple Syndication (RSS), a time-saving, automated way to collect only the news you want over the web
    Look for at the bottom of the Math Forum discussions

The Forum began in 1992 with funding from the National Science Foundation as an online center for discussing math education. From that emphasis on building online community, we've grown to offer many more services and resources; and today, thanks to Drexel University, we're proud to continue supporting our communities with this discussion area.




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