Jul. 27, 2012:
- Added [academia.se] to the list of suggested sites
Mar. 20, 2012:
- Added [cs.se] to the list of suggested sites
Feb. 23, 2012:
Another small update to the FAQ.
- Added [crypto.se] and [scicomp.se] to the list of suggested sites,
- Made the tips for writing a better question a section.
Nov. 17, 2011:
I have edited the official FAQ a little bit (mainly adding links to some entries of the official FAQ that we refer to in comments). Please comemnt if you don't like the edits or have other suggestions on how to improve the general FAQ:
Theoretical Computer Science - Stack Exchange is for theoretical computer scientists and researchers in related fields. We welcome research-level questions in theoretical computer science (TCS).
Although there is no black-and-white distinction between research-level questions and non-research-level questions, questions are considered to be "research-level" roughly when they can be discussed between two professors or between two graduate students working on Ph.D.'s, but not usually between a professor and a typical undergraduate student. It does not include questions at the level of difficulty of typical undergraduate course/textbook homework/exercise.
For an explanation of what TCS is, we refer you to the description of ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT):
TCS covers a wide variety of topics including algorithms, data structures, computational complexity, parallel and distributed computation, probabilistic computation, quantum computation, automata theory, information theory, cryptography, program semantics and verification, machine learning, computational biology, computational economics, computational geometry, and computational number theory and algebra. Work in this field is often distinguished by its emphasis on mathematical technique and rigor.
My question is not a research-level question in TCS, where can I ask it?
For questions other than research-level questions in TCS, you may want to consider the following places to ask:
Questions should be based on knowledge sharing, not on shirking
You should only post questions you're actually seriously thinking about. Users are expected to do their part and try to answer their question by themselves before posting them on cstheory and asking for help from others. Search to see if your question is already answered somewhere else (e.g. Wikipedia) before asking a question. Try to make your question interesting for others by providing some background knowledge. Remember, questions should be based on knowledge sharing, not on shirking. Shirking goes against the spirit of the site.
Tips about writing better questions
Please also check our list of useful resources before asking a question.
Currently we have two separate lists of FAQs. See also the longer Official Theoretical Computer Science FAQ. Some of the most important entries in the other FAQ are: