With many latest mathematician-bloggers turning their heads and posts towards the newly opened Math Overflow website (including my favourite, Terry), I think its time for me to write something about this.

The Math Overflow Q&A website was launched two weeks ago by some UC Berkeley folks and funded by Ravi Vakil. To increase popular interest, they have given reputation points to active members who post questions and answers regularly and accurately. Also, there is no pain of registration as such; an OpenID like Google will do. One glitch is that there is no LaTeX support but users seem to be typing off the TeX code directly. With increase in popularity, we can expect this feature to be added.

Presently, there are many active posts in Algebraic Geometry but hopefully we shall soon see other ‘exciting’ (sic) topics like PDE. Many interesting topics were categorized and posted. Tag lines like, “A gentleman never chooses a basis” give the reader the required kick! I also liked the mathematics jokes post. One cool joke which had me rolling on the floor with laughter was – “A comathematician is a device for turning cotheorems into ffee” in response to the popular quote, “A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems”. I could also find a satisfactory answer to the question What is the “best” proof of the quadratic reciprocity?.

The project is in its nascent stage but has already gripped me. Also, immense contributions by big names like J S Milne, Ben Webster, Charles Siegel and Andy Putman will add to the success of this venture. Hopefully, the process of understanding mathematics will be further simplified by this website, especially at the undergraduate level.

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