Not signed in (Sign In)

Vanilla 1.1.9 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

    • CommentAuthorJon Bannon
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2012 edited
    I've recently been asked to (potentially) give a 1-minute blurb on NPR about mathematics for the educated layperson. I think Math Overflow is a great short news story for mathematics in that MO a place where anyone can see how mathematics is alive. (I should probably be embarrased to say this, but it is my favorite thing on the internet!)

    Before using MO for a story, I wanted to ask if it is not a good idea to do so (I intend to give a strong warning that questions should only be at the level of research mathematics, and to direct the general populace to Math.SE).

    If it is OK to talk about MO, what are some things that should (and should not) be said? (Unless the number one rule of MO is you don't talk about MO...)

    I think the MO community is quite happy with publicity in general (see this thread for evidence of that). The major concern would be that it not attract questions of an inappropriate level. As long as you spin it roughly as "MO is a place where mathematicians go to ask other mathematicians questions that come up in their research" (maybe with an aside that it's therefore different from many older sites which are for students looking for help with homework or contest problems), I doubt anyone would object. And of course emphasizing that mathematicians actually do research, and don't just teach calculus, fits in well with your goal of showing that mathematics is alive.

    • CommentAuthorgrp
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2012
    Hopefully, the fact checkers at NPR will use the relevant resources and edit your comments accordingly. If you stick to what your experience was like, that would be more useful than anything. If you use modifiers like "I think ..." or "I believe ..." that should cover you. Also, you should enlist the aid of NPR in qualifying your statement: anyone can see one facet of "living" mathematical research and acedemic networking in looking at MathOverflow, but not everyone would want to, nor will many (including much of the MathOverflow community) understand a question chosen at random from the recent questions list.

    If/when it comes out, many of us here would appreciate a link to the blurb, especially a text version. Good Luck!

    Gerhard "Ask Me About System Design" Paseman, 2012.01.17