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Topic: quasi's sci.math FAQ
Replies: 9   Last Post: Jun 10, 2014 10:12 AM

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quasi

Posts: 10,226
Registered: 7/15/05
quasi's sci.math FAQ
Posted: Jun 7, 2014 7:36 AM
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------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------- quasi's sci.math FAQ ----------------------
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Q1 -- Who can post?
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Anyone.
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Q2 -- To participate, does one need to "join" sci.math?
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No.
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Q3 -- Can participants post anonymously?
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Yes, in the sense that one can choose an arbitrary username, and
the email one provides doesn't have to be a real email address.
Some sci.math participants _do_ use their real name as their
username, but many do not. For example (surprise, surprise), my
real name is not "quasi" and the email I provide (quasi@null.set)
is not a real email address.
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Q4 -- Who's in charge of the group?
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Nobody.
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Q5 -- What kinds of posts are considered "on-topic" for sci.math?
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Basically anything with mathematical content. For example:
* Asking a question relating to a math problem.
* Posing a challenge problem.
* Posing a conjecture.
* Asking if a particular mathematical statement is true.
* Asking about the status of a known conjecture.
* Posting a mathematical proof, asking for feedback.
* Providing a full or partial solution to a question or problem
previously posed in sci.math.
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Q6 -- What level of math is typical?
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Most math questions and discussions are at university level, but
we get occasional questions at high school level, and some are at
graduate or research level.
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Q7 -- Is it OK for students to post HW problems?
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It's considered bad form to ask for a solution to an assigned HW
problem. If a posted problem seems like a HW problem, many
sci.math readers will choose not to answer, others may give hints,
and some may choose to provide a full answer (after all, nobody's
in charge). As a matter of good faith, if you do post such a
problem, you should at least state that it's HW, indicate how
you've approached the problem, and show what you've done so far.
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Q8 -- Are off-topic posts allowed?
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If your posts are mostly on-topic, an occasional off-topic post
won't ruin your reputation. But if you initiate too many
off-topic posts, many sci.math readers will choose to add your
username to their "kill file", making it so they won't have to
see any of your future posts.
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Q9 -- What kinds of posts are considered "off-topic" for sci.math?
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Basically anything with no mathematical content. For example,
posts falling into one or more of the following categories:
* Politics
* Religion
* Philosophy
* Science (unless there's also math content).
* History (unless it's history of math).
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Q10 -- What are "cranks" and "trolls"?
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In the context of sci.math, a crank is one who, out of ignorance,
repeatedly posts false mathematical claims. A troll is one who
_knowingly_ posts such false claims, typically to satisfy a
desire for attention. A user who posts repeated off-topic posts
would also be considered a troll.
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Q11 -- Who are the current cranks and trolls in sci.math?
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I won't name names. Over time, it will become obvious who usually
makes sense and who usually spouts nonsense.
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Q12 -- Why this FAQ?
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To provide some guidance for newbies.
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Q13 -- Is this FAQ in any way "official"?
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No. It reflects my sense of what a newbie might ask, and the
answers provided reflect my point of view (thus the title
"quasi's sci.math FAQ").
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Q14 -- How often will this FAQ be posted?
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I haven't decided, but not very often. At this point, I'm not sure
if I'll post it ever again.
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Q15 -- Will the FAQ be expanded to cover other questions?
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If needed, yes, unless I choose to drop the whole thing.
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Q16 -- Are there other sources of guidance for sci.math newbies?
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Yes. Ken Pledger periodically posts an article titled
"Welcome to <sci.math>. These suggestions may help you."
which provides lots of useful guidance for sci.math newbies.
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Q17 -- Any closing remarks?
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sci.math is a kind of math free-for-all. Enjoy!
------------------------------------------------------------------
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quasi



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