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    • CommentAuthorJon Bannon
    • CommentTimeJul 24th 2010
    It certainly would be useful to have a store of interesting research projects and questions appropriate for undergraduates, provided by the MO audience. The trouble I'm having with this is, I don't think content dedicated in this way is necessarily appropriate for MO. Would an MO "undergraduate research" tag be appropriate? Perhaps this would not be too invasive, as it will allow posts to be tagged as appropriate for undergraduate research. On the other hand, I think that such projects are often not "real research" (here come the flaming arrows) and hence perhaps would fit better under the "mathematics education" tag. Thoughts on this?

    This is, to some extent, what the open problem garden is for.

    • CommentAuthorJon Bannon
    • CommentTimeJul 24th 2010
    Thanks Qiaochu, I'll check it out.

    To flesh this out a bit more, the "undergrad research" tag would be for posting reductions of problems or parts of problems to questions requiring only undergraduate background to approach. (In some cases, for example, the "combinatorial core" referred to by Gowers in his "two cultures" article.)
    • CommentAuthorWillieWong
    • CommentTimeJul 25th 2010

    A few points:

    (a) I don't think MO should be an open problems / research topic repository.

    (b) Undergraduate background is variously defined, and nebulous to actually quantify. (Compare to, say, post-quals graduate background).

    (c) In the two or three fields I am familiar with, most of the time when such a reduction is seen to be possible, the reduced problem becomes so easy and simply approachable that it ceases to be a question of professional research interest. I know that this is less so the case for combinatorics, discrete math, and some other fields, but in general I don't think the proposed tag will be one widely used or well-loved.

    I think it'd be much better to actually start something like Open Problem Garden or the AIM Problem List but for undergraduates. However, I cannot predict whether such a site will thrive: sometimes we want to save the problems for our own students.