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    • CommentAuthornzhiltsov
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2011
    My area of research is math information retrieval. In particular, I come up with several basic ideas how to make use of a promising discussion platform offered by (MO). That's why I'd like to ask for opinion of professional mathematicians and users. Do they look helpful? What ideas do you have on your own?

    1. Integration of MO with an academic paper search engine, e.g. automatic retrieving citation links to relevant papers on arXiv. This might be a recommendation service for a given question, as well.
    2. Integration of MO with Wikipedia/Wolfram Functions Site (or similar resources). This can be done for enriching an user interface with widgets displaying useful definitions or basic facts about mentioned mathematical knowledge objects (terms, theorems etc.)
    Thanks in advance!
    • CommentAuthorWillieWong
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2011

    Considering the target audience, I don't think (2) would be necessary, or desired, on MathOverflow. On the other hand, it could be an interesting addition to

    (1) is a bit interesting. I have some reservations about what you mean by a "recommendation service". Many of us already have a backlog of "papers that one ought to read" that is more than "papers that one can physically read in a lifetime"... :p Any further unsolicited recommendations are likely to be ignored. An integration with MREF will presumably save, on average, a few seconds of my time each day.

    (Of course, considering how we have no access to the source of MO, the standard "this discussion will be purely academic and possibly not implementable" disclaimer applies.)

    I agree with Willie on (2), it's not clear what advantage that might have. Wolfram Alpha does appear to be a potentially useful gadget to use in large 1st and 2nd year intro calculus type courses. But it's not really relevant for much on MO.

    We already have the reverse of (1), in that the arXiv has track-backs to MO threads where arXiv papers are mentioned. And people are of course free to mention arXiv papers if they're relevant to MO threads. So I'm not sure what (1) would offer that we don't already have.
    • CommentAuthorMariano
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2011

    Now, if MathSciNet's reviews had a link to the corresponding MREF result, that would be useful!

    • CommentAuthorWillieWong
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2011

    @Ryan: really? There be arXiv track-backs? Cool! (Can you show me an example? Not that I don't believe you, but this feature can be blog-worthy.)

    @Mariano: you mean the link labelled "link" on the mathscinet reviews? I always right click that to copy the link location when I have to send e-mails or post here.


    @Willie: . Click "1 blog link" on the lower right.

    • CommentAuthorWillieWong
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2011

    Ah! MathOverflow is counted as a blog! That's why I didn't notice it before. :p

    Thanks Qiaochu.


    The "blog links" are called this because the links are created via the "trackback" mechanism, which is only really implemented by blogging software. Anton and I implemented that trackback mechanism for mathoverflow by hand, manually scraping recently edited pages for links, and calling the trackback script on the arxiv directly.

    There's a URL that shows all recent trackbacks. It's amusing that MO dominates this list!