I have found this question which relates to the topic, but I wanted to know if someone could (briefly) outline the types of mathematics questions that fall under the Stack Overflow umbrella versus those that should be flagged for migration.

  • Old questions on SO with many votes should not be migrated to any SE2.0 site. What SO thinks of a question often has little relation with what experts on the topic think, and these disproportionately-upvoted (for the target site) posts are disruptive.
  • Questions about mathematics with no connection to programming are off-topic on Stack Overflow and should be closed or migrated to Mathematics Stack Exchange.
  • Questions about Statical Analysis can be migrated to Cross Validated.
  • If a question has code in it, or is about a specific programming language or API, it's SO material.
  • If a question is about an algorithm, including complexity analysis, it's usually SO material.
  • If in doubt, let the people who are regulars on the target site request migrations.

Note that if you think a question should be migrated away from SO to a site other than SU, SF, Programmers or Webmasters, you need to flag it for moderator attention (mention the intended destination in the comment, optionally with a very brief and crystal-clear justification).

To provide a few examples, here is the list of questions that have been migrated from Stack Overflow to Mathematics Stack Exchange as of now, according to Google, sorted by decreasing number of votes:

  • Above and beyond. Thank you. – jonsca May 6 '11 at 22:26

It's not really an exact science... That's why we have humans vote to migrate, rather than computers.

But my rule of thumb would be the ones that include source code belong on Stack Overflow. The rest could probably find a better home elsewhere.

  • I think you make a good point, but I have found that some "conceptual" type problems seem to stay or go. I know there's a human factor involved, I just wanted some clarification in case I was missing some particular facet of the problem. – jonsca May 6 '11 at 13:55
  • @jonsca: There are lots of factors involved. One is that these types of questions get relatively few views, and thus there is less opportunity for 3k+ users to cast close votes. Another is that, like you, people aren't sure where they belong, so they punt and leave the question be. And third, some users remember hearing that Math Overflow doesn't want those questions (they're targeted more to professional mathematicians, not normal people with match questions) and don't know about Math.SE for normal folks. Fourth, that's not a button in the migrate dialog. – Cody Gray May 6 '11 at 13:59
  • Yes, I take the number of views aspect for granted on more popular questions that are closed or migrated at lightning speed. I'm going to leave this open for a bit to see if anyone else wants to weigh in. Thanks. – jonsca May 6 '11 at 14:04

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