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    • CommentAuthorsigfpe
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th 2010
    Sorry if this is a repeat suggestion but I did hunt around to see if this had been discussed before.

    When some of the inappropriate questions are asked on MO, I suspect that it was because the web site was found at random and the asker simply saw a list of mathematics related questions. Maybe they also knew about StackOverflow. But there's nothing to suggest what is an appropriate question, unless you expect people to go straight to the tiny "how to ask" at the top.

    Wouldn't it be appropriate for the title of the web site to have just a one line subtitle to say what the purpose is? Like Slashdot has "News for nerds. Stuff that matters." I don't think it's a good example, but something like "Answers for Professional Mathematicians" would at least tell some people that asking for the slope of a line through two given points isn't appropriate. I don't like that example because I'm no professional myself. But I'm sure someone could come up with a good one line mission statement.
    Or perhaps something in the window title bar? My title bar when on MO just says "Math Overflow".

    "Questions and answers for research mathematicians"?

    "Because mathematicians need answers" (or "want answers"?)
    • CommentAuthorMariano
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010

    /me likes Scott's


    For a second there, I thought that Scott's said "Questions and answers for research mathematicians?", which I found slightly amusing.


    Is a "tag line" the notice over the door explaining what goes on or is it the advertising slogan to persuade more people to sign up? The initial explanation leans towards the first explanation in which case Scott's suggestion gets my vote. However, the Slashdot example seems more towards the second explanation in which case ... Scott, that is the weakest tag line ...

    (With apologies for not understanding, but I don't speak American so don't always get the subtleties involved.)


    @Andrew: I think it can be both. If we can find a single sentence that does both, great. If not, I say we go for explanation. After all, the discussion was started because we want to make some people to take their questions elsewhere.

    • CommentAuthorsigfpe
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010 edited
    @Andrew: I agree with @Harald. I'm just suggesting a bit more information to help people decide whether or not to use the site. It'd be great if it both discouraged homework and encouraged more mathematicians. But I wouldn't want to discourage people from allied fields asking research level mathematics questions.
    I think sigfpe's last point is a good one. For that reason I think a tag line that refers to something like "research level mathematics" may be better than referring to "research mathematicians".
    • CommentAuthorLK
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010
    Or "Mathematical research in questions and answers"
    • CommentAuthorAnweshi
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010

    "A common room for all mathematics department common rooms".

    "The mother of all common rooms"
    • CommentAuthorAndrea
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010

    I don't like the last two. At least in Italy it is not common to have a common room (sorry) in a mathematics department. So common room does not make me think of a place where mathematicians discuss their research problem. Actually it makes me think more of a place where mathematicians DO NOT do mathematics.

    • CommentAuthorAnweshi
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010

    Well, I borrowed the term after seeing it used somewhere by Kevin Buzzard, and since he is British, I thought it would be standard English. Does anybody have a good phrase for "mathematics discussion lounge of a mathematics department"? If there is one, then please use it instead and resurrect my suggestion.

    Regarding making it clear who this site is for, my old idea is easily modified to:

    "Because research mathematicians seek answers".

    (Of course, if we want to be more serious, Scott's idea is great too. Leonid's sentence
    doesn't sound too well for my ears, but I like the general idea)

    (And @Anweshi: "The mad tea party for research mathematicians")

    "Research mathematicians" doesn't flow. I don't know how much we care about how snappy the tagline is, though. I guess that given the international nature of the audience here it would be best to go for something unambiguous and easy to understand to a non-native speaker.

    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010 edited

    The word research is redundant anyway, because who else other than a research mathematician would call him/her-self a mathematician?


    How about "mathematics for mathematicians"?

    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010 edited

    Mathoverflow: "Did you check wikipedia first?"

    Ok, now that's actually funny.
    Malia suggests:
    "Mathoverflow, totally a Math RPG."

    MMOM: "Massively multiplayer online mathematics"?

    And yeah, @fpqc, that one's good.


    @Noah: What's an "RPG", or am I just showing my age?

    @fpqc: So how about "MAW" for "MAW ain't Wikipedia"

    It's a shame that planet.math isn't better known because then we could use: "Maths for mathematicians, by mathematicians."


    RPG=role-playing game (or rocket propelled grenade, but not in this context).

    • CommentAuthorMariano
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2010

    (In other words, you are showing your age :P )


    *You wait.*
    *Time passes.*
    *Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold.*

    And I still have the tape that the game is stored on (sadly, not the computer that ran it).

    (How's that for "showing my age"?)


    @Ben: I think that "Rocket propelled grenade" sounds far more exciting in this context. But it does bring to mind the Asimov short story "A Feeling of Power".

    Oh man, I'd totally forgotten that game. I must have had it for the Apple IIc?

    I'm going to start saying "LARPing" instead of "going to tea".


    DTR. Avoid TLAs.

    [Edit: It should have been DTRT, which sort of spoils the pun. Oh, well.]


    @Noah: My version is (since I still have the tape I use the present tense) for the BBC Micro. That game was just fantastic! Far better than trying to squash frogs.

    @Anton: you're in the US. You can say whatever you like but you will never be "going to tea" in any acceptable sense. The only way that you can be forgiven for using that phrase is if you truly did intend to drive across the Bay, onto Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park, and buy some Real Tea at Peet's (assuming that it is still there).

    @Harald: back to the pillaging, I deem.

    • CommentAuthorsigfpe
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2010
    Anyway, I still think a one line summary would be good to have. But I've no idea what process would be involved in deciding whether it should happen, and how it would get done.

    Trying hard not to like @fpqc's suggestion, and failing.
    I also like @fpqc's suggestion and think it ought to be given serious consideration.

    @sigfpe: the process is what's happening right here! If there's a consensus, and Anton is agreeable, he can pretty easily effect such things.