Are the sites similar to mathoverflow in other sciences related to mathematics? statistics, computer science, physics, economics, etc?

Let me explain what I mean by "similar": those are sites devoted to posing questions and answers,in these areas. I do not insist on the precise format of "mathoverflow" (reputation points, badges, etc.). But I am looking for general multi-participants forums like this one, so scientific blogs do not qualify.

  • $\begingroup$ This question belongs on meta.stackexchange.com, where it has this answer: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4/list-of-stackexchange-sites/… $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2009 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ well, I disagree; I did not ask about this specific format with rhe reputation points and bronze medals but about various other platforms for questions and answers in areas related to mathematics... $\endgroup$
    – Gil Kalai
    Nov 7, 2009 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ "Similar" is not very specific, so I hope you can see how I misunderstood. There are lots of forum sites in the sciences, like physicsforums.com. Another thing to look for is blogs, which tend to have a different flavor of questions/answers, but have the downside that very few people can make a new post; there's a massive list of academic blogs at wiki.henryfarrell.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. I'm sure there are also wikis in the other sciences akin to ncatlab.org/nlab/show/HomePage and tricki.org, but I don't know about them. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2009 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ I remember there where discussion forums on physics and maybe also on math but I do nt remember the details. the stackexchanges forums on physics and science are still rather undeveloped. $\endgroup$
    – Gil Kalai
    Nov 8, 2009 at 22:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It seems like this is very much a "meta" question about the idea of MathOverflow rather than about the things MathOverflow is about. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2010 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


Here is a brief list of science-related sites that run on the same platform as Math Overflow:

A complete list of these sites is available here.

The one thing that I personally feel is missing is a lower-level mathematics site (a Math Underflow, if you will). I understand the desire to keep Math Overflow relevant and interesting for professional mathematicians, but there is currently no equivalent site for amateurs and students.

Update: (Sept 2010)A math site for university level mathematics exists now.

There are also sites for theoretical computer science and for statistics.

(April 2011) There is a TEX Q/A site!

(September 2011) Area 51: science contains new proposed stackexchange sites related to science. We can mention especially proposals for Theoretical physics (and mathematical physics) (closed), economics (closed), research economics, game theory, computational sciences, philosophy (the site is running), numerical models and simulations, Mathematica, mathematics in german.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ NRICH, AoPS etc should fill the need for amateurs and students. $\endgroup$
    – user709
    Nov 7, 2009 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ Not really, there's definitely room for a StackExchange site for the freshman-calculus-type questions that get closed so quickly on this site. $\endgroup$
    – las3rjock
    Nov 7, 2009 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot, this is very useful. Actually my question was not just for sites in the same format but also on sites for questions and discussions of similar nature with other formats. $\endgroup$
    – Gil Kalai
    Nov 7, 2009 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ @las3rjock: you can always start a new SE site if you think it will work (beta.stackexchange.com/sign-up). It's free until it comes out of beta (and for another 30-45 days after that). The problem is that to have a successful SE site, you need both askers and answerers. From the point of view of the calculus student, it would be nice to have a place to go to get your questions answered, but who is going to answer them? By it's very nature, a calculus forum is something you get sick of once you've learned calculus well enough. Then again, I could be wrong; I haven't tried the experiment. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2009 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ I find it sad that all these other sites are really anemic compared to Mathoverflow, which is itself much smaller than Stackoverflow but still definitely suited to the needs its called on to meet. A (>miniscule) physicsoverflow, econoverflow and computer science (not programming) overflow would all be really helpful. $\endgroup$
    – DoubleJay
    Jun 4, 2010 at 14:28

Well, MathOverflow is based on Stack Overflow, which is about programming -- though not, perhaps, computer science in an academic sense. Good question, though!

My guess is that such sites would tend to degenerate quite quickly unless the subject lends itself to questions which can be answered. Such questions tend to be predominantly mathematical, perhaps by definition, so perhaps they could be incorporated into MathOverflow. Already we are seeing an increasing number of questions on mathematical physics.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! here is the link to stack overflow: stackoverflow.com $\endgroup$
    – Gil Kalai
    Nov 7, 2009 at 10:17
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    $\begingroup$ Actually most questions which can be answered are definitely not mathematical. Stackoverflow exists (if memory surves right) almost a year and a half, and has 70K users, and 360K questions. The guy who evnisioned it - Joel Spolsky - simply wanted a place to ask technical questions instead of reading a lot of ducmentation, or start looking for techn support; it would probably serve very similar purposes in say medicine or chemistry. You should probably look for cultural reasons if you want to find out how come mathematicians are the first to follow the stackoverlow example. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2009 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ Point taken. Bibliographical questions can be readily answered in any field, as can some questions in fields based on factual knowledge. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2009 at 13:22

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