Questions tagged [scope]

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74 votes
20 answers
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Is "theoretical" computer science too narrow?

The CS Theory Stack Exchange is humming along nicely. It's a terrific, robust, and growing community that is clearly making an increasing contribution to the state of CS Theory research. Something we ...
Joel Spolsky's user avatar
32 votes
8 answers
956 views

On modifying our scope: A proposal

There's been a lot of chatter of late about our scope, the declining number of questions being asked per day, and whether we're being excessively strict about question scope. This question is ...
Suresh Venkat's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
521 views

The modifiable part of our general FAQ

Should we put the phrase "research level" in our general FAQ? While in our official FAQ there is a statement about the scope of our site, that is, Ask and answer research-level questions in ...
Hsien-Chih Chang 張顯之's user avatar
12 votes
7 answers
5k views

Is it ok to ask about the correctness of preprints on crank-friendly topics?

See this question in which someone asked for an update on the status of an arxiv preprint on graph isomorphism. It was downvoted, with a comment "Are this kind of discussions on-topic here? I think ...
David Eppstein's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
699 views

A cstheory website for beginners

It seems that overzealous folks at Area 51 closed the proposal without giving it a fair chance. (Dave Clarke) -- mathoverflow.net is for mathematicians. ...
Pratik Deoghare's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
682 views

How-to-model-this questions

There are several questions asking for a good way to model something. Are they in scope, or should they be closed? Because a recent example is “Semantic distance between excerpts of text.” by John ...
Tsuyoshi Ito's user avatar
  • 16.5k
10 votes
3 answers
196 views

Multiple Research Forums (like this One) Linked Together -- a Proposal

In our discussion of whether the Theoretical Computer Science is too narrow for this site, I suggested a compromise idea that would have different forums like this site, all linked together more so ...
Lev Reyzin's user avatar
  • 12k
10 votes
1 answer
203 views

When are areas of pure math that are used in CS considered on-topic?

My motivation for this question is the response to my question here, which garnered a vote to close for being too mathy. Supportive comments and upvoting seemed to have saved that particular question ...
Ian's user avatar
  • 2,727
9 votes
2 answers
218 views

Alternative websites for off-topic or non-research-level questions

While our aim is to ask and answer research-level questions in theoretical computer science, we would like to be helpful to those who do not know where to ask other questions. One way is probably to ...
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are applied questions off-topic?

I wanted to raise this question based on the discussion here. An example would be "What are some real world applications for genetic algorithms?" The decision here should be added into our FAQ.
Shane's user avatar
  • 2,233
7 votes
8 answers
4k views

Homework, or things that look like homework.

c.f this question on O() notation. Stackoverflow actually has the 'homework' tag, and is willing to entertain questions of that kind. MO has strong prohibitions in place against it. The first ...
Suresh Venkat's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
202 views

Reference requests and the like

Someone recently asked a question about references for work in pattern recognition with fuzzy logic. Leaving aside the issue of topical scope, here's the (harsh) comment I wrote: I apologize if ...
Suresh Venkat's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
343 views

Questions about finding code for algorithms

This is a question about "Program for computing tree decomposition of a graph". Should we admit questions that are looking for code for certain algorithms ? On the YES side, there was a ...
Suresh Venkat's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
172 views

Better description of the scope than “research-level questions in theoretical computer science”

I have seen (and I have also used myself) the phrase “research-level questions in theoretical computer science” to describe the scope of cstheory.stackexchange.com. However, thinking about it, I ...
Tsuyoshi Ito's user avatar
  • 16.5k
7 votes
2 answers
274 views

Finding negation of regular expression: too basic ?

The question Regular expressions: Finding “negation” of regular expression? seems awfully basic to me. I didn't want to close since my fellow moderator Dave Clarke answered it, which clearly indicates ...
Suresh Venkat's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
275 views

Defining the Scope of This Site (or Theory Cafe?)

This question seems to have generated quite a debate in the comments about whether it's appropriate, enough of one that it seems worth discussing in meta. There are lots of questions (asking things ...
Lev Reyzin's user avatar
  • 12k
6 votes
4 answers
708 views

We should stop claiming that this website is “research-level”

Question: Algorithm to sort pairs of numbers. I believe that this question is at the level of midterm/final exams in an algorithm course and not at the level of research. Given the positive comment ...
Tsuyoshi Ito's user avatar
  • 16.5k
6 votes
3 answers
637 views

Compiler Design and PL Theory questions ?

This question on the main site is stated as being well within the realm of programming language theory. However, it has a -2 score and votes to close. Is it within scope, and in general are we to ...
Suresh Venkat's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
192 views

Ph.D Schools "focusing" on theory

There's a rollback extravaganza happening on this question. There are a number of problems in the question, and foolishly I contributed to this by even answering. There are multiple questions within ...
Suresh Venkat's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
205 views

On the efficacy of "Big List" questions

Big List questions (and recommendation questions in general) were a problem on Stack Overflow from its very early days. They attract spam, encourage bikeshedding and generally poor answers. Stack ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
121 views

Is a question about decoherence in quantum walks on the line in scope?

I started typing up a question on transitioning from quantum to classical random walks on the line, with the punchline being along the lines of: Are there models of decoherence for the quantum walk ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
581 views

Are brain teasers and CS puzzles valid questions? What if they involve advanced techniques?

Over at MathOverflow the community accepts math puzzles, and in fact even has a couple tags devoted to them. Of course, puzzles can be illuminating when they require that one makes some creative ...
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
398 views

What level and types of questions are appropriate for Theoretical Computer Science?

As a starting point, I was interested in András Salamon's answer to a question about the need for a TCS Stack Exchange. Now, as a software engineer, there are a number of topics in theoretical ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
120 views

Out of scope question with ongoing discussion

This pertains to: How do I store data with a query that's approximated ? I felt that the question as stated was too localized, and invited the OP to generalize because I thought there was a valid ...
Suresh Venkat's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
115 views

"Theoretical computer science" or "theoretical *in* computer science"

Sometimes we get questions which are "theoretical questions in computer science", but are not "theoretical computer science" questions. Other areas in computer science (e.g. computer networks, ...) ...
Kaveh's user avatar
  • 21.6k
4 votes
4 answers
277 views

Questions about compilation errors in Coq

I would have voted to close the following question as out of scope if it didn't have 3 votes already. How to define a function inductively on two arguments in Coq? It is similar to asking how to ...
Kaveh's user avatar
  • 21.6k
4 votes
1 answer
164 views

Are discussions about the field of TCS off-topic?

This has been raised several times and we should make a group decision. Raised before: Developing a CW policy. Are list questions such as about conferences on-topic? Places to look for articles and ...
Shane's user avatar
  • 2,233
4 votes
2 answers
160 views

Request For Comment: the scope of Computational Sciences proposal

While checking computational science meta today, I noticed that my perception about the proposal/site might not be true. mbq, the original person behind the proposal is not that much involved anymore ...
Kaveh's user avatar
  • 21.6k
3 votes
5 answers
249 views

Scope: Can questions be too physical for us?

Lance Fortnow asked a question, What is the Volume of Information?, which Ross Snider criticised on two grounds: Off topic: I downvoted because I don't find this question relevant to the site (...
Charles Stewart's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
138 views

How to deal with "How to do X?" questions where X is a very high-level (software engineering) task

From time to time we get questions that are of the form: How can I do X? or Is X studied? (often by a user not familiar with TCS) where X is a very high-level real-world task, so it is not ...
Kaveh's user avatar
  • 21.6k
2 votes
3 answers
582 views

Our domain scope, specifically defined

There have been many independent questions about whether things are on/off-topic, but I think that we should be explicit at this point about our scope. The wikipedia article on TCS could provide a ...
Shane's user avatar
  • 2,233
2 votes
1 answer
151 views

Migrate to Meta or not: When should you say what you know?

I am surprised to see that at least two people commented that the question “When should you say what you know?” by asterix is on-topic, because it looked clear to me that it should be migrated to Meta....
Tsuyoshi Ito's user avatar
  • 16.5k
2 votes
2 answers
110 views

Is my StackOverflow question a better match here than there? "Formally constructing control flow graph"

Given the PL Theory parts of my question (but seeing it also being part of practical compiler design) Im thinking it might be a better match here than there? https://stackoverflow.com/questions/...
svrist's user avatar
  • 166
2 votes
3 answers
335 views

On topic or off topic: Do you use any article organizers?

Currently the question “Do you use any article organizers?” has three votes to close as off topic. However, in my opinion, this question can be interesting to people working on theoretical computer ...
Tsuyoshi Ito's user avatar
  • 16.5k
2 votes
1 answer
171 views

What should we write when closing a question for being too elementary/homework?

The comments and links to used when closing an elementary/homework question. I am making it CW, feel free to edit and/or add links to related discussions. Related discussions: The reason to close ...
Kaveh's user avatar
  • 21.6k
2 votes
0 answers
79 views

Is a question about network analysis via mean-field theory type approaches on topic?

TCS seems to study networks, but I seldom see mean-field theory approaches (which come from statistical-mechanics) used by computer scientists. Hence, I am unsure if the following question from the ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
141 views

Another go at scope of desirable questions

There are active discussions around both meta and several TCS questions about what questions should be rejected. The two reasons most often stated are (afaik) too basic (aka too localized, whatever ...
Raphael's user avatar
  • 4,565
1 vote
4 answers
134 views

Where is the best place to start a discussion on the right axioms for computation?

In Scott Aaronson's answer to my question about the Extended Church-Turing Thesis, he says I don't see how talking about "proofs" of the CT or ECT adds much light to this discussion. Such "proofs" ...
Aaron Sterling's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
603 views

Is asking for a cooking recipe “a question about algorithms”?

This question is partly for fun, but partly serious. As a fictional example, suppose that someone asks a question like the following (the motivation part omitted for simplicity): I would like to ...
Tsuyoshi Ito's user avatar
  • 16.5k
1 vote
0 answers
109 views

What qualifies as a research level question in research-practise?

I am trying to understand what qualifies as a research level question in the domain of research-practice. My recent question was about the usefulness of a certain direction of investigation as opposed ...
asheeshr's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
0 answers
88 views

Referring questions to crypto.SE

Consider the following two questions: Information leaking of simulation based security Why SHA-224 and SHA-256 use different initial values? There's already a scope clash between crypto.SE and us, ...
Suresh Venkat's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

Is it legal to post links to publications found on google scholar?

I have just started my Ms.c, and I'm now really starting to read publications, and I think that many times the link to a paper could make it easier to formulate and scope a question. I guess that ...
Ramzi Kahil's user avatar
-3 votes
3 answers
460 views

On the Feasibility of Homework Questions

Current policy is to close all questions that "feel like homework" to at least five (high-reputated) people. Those more militant even downvote answers given by others even if those were hints rather ...
Raphael's user avatar
  • 4,565
-6 votes
1 answer
307 views

A policy proposal against questions asking for a correctness check [closed]

Update: I withdrew this policy proposal. It received 5 downvotes and no upvotes. This is a policy proposal. The proposed policy in the question or its answers will be adopted in the case that after ...
Tsuyoshi Ito's user avatar
  • 16.5k