43

I agree with David Richerby. Math.se is the anomalous site. It is inundated with boring homework questions that keep repeating in an annual cycle. I personally ran away from the site with disgust, and I wouldn't want the same thing to happen here. I don't mind giving help, or sometimes complete solutions, for interesting and non-routine exercises. For me ...


22

But CS seems completely different to me It isn't. Our policy on homework questions is broadly the same as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Economics and Stack Overflow. Rather, it's Mathematics that's unusual in accepting homework questions with essentially no restriction.


16

D.W. explains what to ask. Here are some pointer towards how. Wait, first the when: First, talk to people, namely fellow students, TAs and teachers (in that order). Many problems go away after you talk to somebody who is thinking about the same problem, or has done so before. If that is no option (really?) or does not work out: Google your problem. ...


11

I'll share my own personal views. You should expect that the views of folks here may vary from person to person, so don't take this as necessarily representing anyone else's opinions. We wouldn't be able to handle all the world's homework problems Our policies regarding problem dumps exist for a reason. If we allowed everyone in the world to just post ...


11

The tooltip on a downvote button reads This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful If your opinion of a question is “this guy should do his own homework instead of dumping it on us”, that's a prime case of “does not show any research effort”, and a downvote is perfectly consistent with the guidelines. As per our homework ...


10

Ask questions about concepts, not about your exercise Don't ask us about how to solve your homework exercise. Instead, spend some time trying to solve the homework exercise, and use that to figure out where you have a conceptual gap in your understanding. Then, ask about the concept you don't quite understand yet. If you've done a good job of this, often ...


8

Looking at the activity in Math.SE I'm struck by how many math enthusiasts are there. It's full of people who just enjoy shifting symbols around to solve problems the way other people enjoy doing crosswords or assembling jigsaw puzzles. The same is true with regard to stackoverflow and coding. There's such enthusiasm for coding that there are spinoff code ...


8

I share your concern that CS.SE is often not as welcoming to new visitors as it could be. Here's a common scenario: (1) a new visitor asks a question; (2) the question appears to the regulars to be a problem dump; (3) one or more of the regulars posts a copy of a standard comment template like, "What have you tried; where did you get stuck?"; (4) the ...


7

I personally don't really mind homework questions. What I do mind are people who register a new account, ask a poorly worded and badly formatted question with that account, yet seem to expect an answer instantly (perhaps because it is an exam question). A homework question asked by a professional or a self-learner can often spark interesting answers, ...


5

Any "this is homework" close reason must include something along the lines of "shows no work." "Unclear what you are asking" is fine, but in that case it should have an alternative of "Unable to find out where OP's problem lies" (or something such; I'm no native speaker).


4

Yes. I recommend that you downvote those questions. There are several reasons why a downvote is appropriate: They do not show research effort. Also, they are not useful: they are not useful to others, and they do not serve the mission of this site, which is to build an archive of high-quality questions and answers that will be useful to others. They ...


3

We all agree that questions about homework problems are fine, as per our policy. We have been quite rigorous about closing questions that are problem dumps -- homework, self-learning or whatever. The usual process is: Comments of the form "What have you tried? Where did you get stuck?" Some close votes, mostly "unclear". Sealing the close with e.g. the ...


3

It happened to me some times. In fact I have to delete certain questions. But still my experience is very satisfactory as other questions get responded well. To tell the truth, I mostly ask a lot of questions. In that comparison, I barely answer others. I know thats very very bad. I always feel I know very little about the topic so I almost never look out ...


2

A word of warning If what you are working on has been assigned to you for homework, asking about it on the internet may defeat the purpose of the exercise. If your teachers know what they are doing¹, assigned exercises will encourage you to review the requisite material, work with the definitions and theorems², connect different concepts, (occasionally) ...


2

In my opinion the post needs editing, not self contained, author said that his solution fails, but didn't posted code (which would make this off-topic) or pseudocode (which woukd be proper), and asked for greedy solution and proof - which turns to be big request. It is far better that he gave source of the problem instead of trying to hide it. I thought ...


1

I disagree with this proposal on the grounds that a new close reason seems unnecessary. Perhaps this isn't a very creative answer, since it's calling for what amounts to the status quo, but hear me out. First, despite our homework policy (which, granted, may not be visible or intuitive enough for new members), questions which appear to be homework questions ...


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