There really does need to be some descriptions here. The two sites seem so similar that I'm unsure which is the proper one to use for certain math issues. In what situations would you use MathOverflow over Mathematics Stack Exchange?

  • 17
    Did you read the tour page of each? It is rather clear what the difference is. – Oded Mar 17 '15 at 16:42
  • 4
    And if you want to have a more detailed discussion on the topic (beyond what's in the help center), you'll be able to find more information on the subject on either site's meta, rather than here. – Servy Mar 17 '15 at 16:45
  • 2
    You could also read some of their questions to get the general feeling of each site. – Meta Andrew T. Mar 17 '15 at 17:56
  • 3
    For those voting to close because "pertains only to a specific site", can I ask which one of the two (MathOverflow and Mathematics) it specifically pertains to? – James Mar 17 '15 at 18:14

From the help centers of both sites:

MathOverflow help center:

MathOverflow's primary goal is for users to ask and answer research level(1) math questions, the sorts of questions you come across when you're writing or reading articles or graduate level books.

Math.SE help center:

Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields

For more information see these posts,


Mathematics Stack Exchange is for students of mathematics, and for professionals in related fields, e.g. statisticians, quantitative finance analysts. Questions about problems in a mathematics course or textbook, and about understanding math concepts are appropriate. Questions about software used by mathematicians are also on topic (with the exception of Mathematica because there is already a Stack Exchange site devoted to that, Mathematica SE). Questions about solving math puzzles are welcomed.

In contrast, Math Overflow is for professional mathematicians, mathematics graduate students, and undergraduates involved in research. Math Overflow's primary goal:

is for users to ask and answer mathematical questions related to current research in mathematics... [also] questions when reading scholarly journals or advanced graduate level books in mathematics.

MathOverflow is not for homework help.

If you aren't sure whether a question belongs on Math Stack Exchange or Math Overflow, or somewhere else on (or off) the Stack Exchange network, this Meta Math Overflow answer should be helpful. It lists several related SE and non-SE Q&A websites.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .