• ## Discussion Feed

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1.

I noticed (thanks to a comment on the Secret Blogging Seminar) that the company behind scilab has just launched a general-purpose mathematics forum, at http://equalis.com. I'd say it's far too early to tell if it will be any good or not, or whether it will get off the ground at all. Some people here might be interested anyway, especially as we've known for a long time that there's a need for something like this to take some pressure off MathOverflow.

That said, their press release blurb is kinda over the top:

Equalis is driving the most vibrant and far reaching on-line math-centric community. Our mission is to enable the free flow of ideas, cutting-edge research, open source technology, problem solving capabilities, and job opportunities for individuals and organizations with a common interest in math and math-centric endeavors.

We are a dedicated team of math experts, a state-of-the art website, and a dynamic and passionate community that enables our members to connect with each other, share ideas, and solve tough problems together.

In order to maximize the impact of our community, we have partnered with some of the most innovative organizations with the deepest math expertise on the planet.

To better support the Equalis community's need for solving complex mathematical problems we have made a commitment to, and feaure, best-in-class open source solutions.

Maybe we should challenge them over that "most vibrant" bit :-)

• CommentAuthorWillieWong
• CommentTimeJul 28th 2010

Wait an minute! Did Anton sell out while we are not looking? =) (What other 'innovative organizations with deepest math expertise on the planet' are there?) Or maybe they are the one who asked this question (which'd explain some things).

But personally I wouldn't worry about competition just yet: their categories under mathematics include not one bit of geometry (algebraic, differential, or planar/Euclidean), or number theory, or topology, or category theory. So they miss out on four out of the five most popular tags on MO! =p

• CommentAuthorMariano
• CommentTimeJul 28th 2010

Wow, that blurb was written by someone who is very very good at market-speak. I imagine after he wrote that he said "Excellent" while tenting his fingertips...

• CommentAuthorVP
• CommentTimeJul 28th 2010

Mariano, yesss! The only thing that is missing (?) is an account number where monetary donations should be directed. I am disappointed, actually - the last paragraph/sentence is left unresolved.

• CommentAuthorCSiegel
• CommentTimeJul 28th 2010

They've been spamming blogs too, I've noticed. So I'm rather disfavorably inclined towards them for that!
2.

I know that this is really bad form to post this, but I'm going to anyway. The first discussion I clicked on was this one. I don't think I'll go back (quite apart from the fact that none of my interests are represented).

• CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
• CommentTimeJul 29th 2010 edited

I don't trust them one bit...

Where's the meta page so we can see who is actually behind the scenes? Who's in charge?

It seems like an MO copycat that someone is trying to make money from. Who are these so-called "math experts"? That's like saying that you're a "science expert" or something equally vague. I propose we declare war (hold on! Before you criticize me for juvenile behavior, I would like to note that I am formally proposing a war. I will not attack unless President Anton gives me the go-ahead. =p). At least if we don't declare war, someone should tell the people in charge over there that they're wasting their time.

Gah, just read Andrew's link. It's almost as if the staff member searched for "group" on wikipedia, and clicked the first math-related thing that sounded like a specific group on the disambiguation page (actually, this isn't the case, but I wouldn't have been surprised).

• CommentAuthorMariano
• CommentTimeJul 29th 2010

Well, I for one think the most useful group is $\mathbb Z_4\oplus\mathbb Z_{16}\oplus\mathrm{GL}_3(8)$!

3.

Scott and I once came across some sort of a live online math tutoring website. I don't remember the details, but something about the way they pitched themselves made us want to try it out. I think they said they could answer any math question, and maybe even explicitly said that grad student level questions were okay; something dubious like that. So we picked a random "unanswered" question from MO (something about monoidal categories) and asked them. Pretty soon, the person on the other end started writing and drawing (on the virtual whiteboard) perfectly sensible things about monoidal categories!! It blew our socks off ... until we realized that they were transcribing the very MO thread we'd pulled the question from. That was pretty awesome too.

4.

It blew our socks off ... until we realized that they were transcribing the very MO thread we'd pulled the question from. That was pretty awesome too.

This merits a funny laugh: Bwahaha!