Questions tagged [discussion]

The question you're asking is designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus.

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73 views

Request for Comment: Tag clean-up

Acknowledgments First, thanks to GertVdE for going through the tags and proposing changes. AronAhmadia and I have looked at GertVdE's list, and now I'm going through and cleaning up and merging some ...
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Tags for each algorithm (GMRES, MINRES, ERK, IRK, BDF, …)?

Should we allow tags for each and every different method/algorithm? Or should these be combined in topical tags like "iterative methods"? I'm a bit afraid that many tags will only be used in a single ...
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Are questions about non-numerical aspects of numerical libraries on topic?

I've been reading the PETSc documentation, and I having a lot of trouble figuring out what PetscBag and some the functions that relate to it are supposed to do. It's part of Petsc, but PetscBag is ...
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Would a question on evaluating computational science students be on topic?

I'd really like to ask a question about "best practices" in evaluating the performance of students taking computational science classes. Is there a way to do that within the current scope of the board?...
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What should we do with the geometry and computational geometry tags?

In a similar scope to my previous question, there is a geometry and a computational geometry tag... Should we merge them or keep them separate, but with synonyms. Furthermore, under what conditions ...
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What should we do with the meshing & mesh-generation tags?

I noticed that both meshing & mesh-generation are included as tags. Should we merge them or at least suggest a tag-synonym?
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4answers
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How much editing is too much?

I've noticed that I keep coming back to reedit my own questions because I am not satisfied with the clarity and the apparent focus of the question. "Luckily", my questions haven't drawn too many ...
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Do we welcome Operations Research questions?

This post has an Operations Research flavor. Although the author does not explicitly phrase the question in OR terms (and it might be a homework assignment), I think it's on-topic (contrary to some ...
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1answer
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Is using computational techniques to automatically generate natural-sounding writing in our scope?

The question https://scicomp.stackexchange.com/questions/1458/markov-chain-n-gram-make-more-natural-sounding has been flagged as out of scope. I am not an expert in computer language generation (...
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How to deal with generally useful but specifically irrelevant answers?

In this question a provided answer is very detailed and informative, but due to a misunderstanding of the question potentially irrelevant. It would be a shame to lose that answer and delete it. How ...
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What questions do we want to encourage as on-topic in our FAQ?

The question Are questions about the presentation of algorithms on topic here? makes a good point that our FAQ talks mostly about what is off-topic. We should include examples of what is on-topic. Any ...
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1answer
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Are questions about the presentation of algorithms on topic here?

I recently asked how to express dictionaries in pseudocode in the question Dictionaries in pseudocode and was in doubt whether it belongs here (and so were others). I thought it's not about actual ...
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0answers
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Are questions about using Wolfram Alpha to perform symbolic manipulation on topic here?

Recently, one of our users asked https://scicomp.stackexchange.com/questions/1407/solving-system-of-equations-with-wolfram-alpha, which is exactly what it says: how to solve a system of equations with ...
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1answer
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We're approaching the 90 day mark in public beta. What do you think we're doing well, and what do you think we could do better?

Computational Science Stack Exchange has been live for almost three months now. We've had encouraging feedback from Stack Exchange staff, and the quality of both questions and answers has been ...
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1answer
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Should we request an arXiv trackbacks feature?

Question inspired by Kaveh, one of the cstheory mods, here on cstheory Meta, which in turn was inspired by this post on Theoretical Physics Meta. As I understand it, this feature would enable people ...
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How do I (we?) fix the “usable, fast C++ matrix library” question?

So, my first question and answer to the site, I believe, was: Recommendations for a usable, fast C++ matrix library? It's gotten a lot of views and votes, but now that I'm a mod and I've been on the ...
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4answers
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How many questions is too many questions?

I am a student in the field of High Performance Computing and when I am reading anything relevant, I seem to generate a million doubts per second. Many of these die out through quick google searches ...
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3answers
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Should we close questions just because their answers may be lists?

Several questions have recently been closed because they are so-called "list questions" and hence "not a good fit" for Stackexchange. There seem to be a small number of vocal and active people behind ...
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1answer
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Are questions about No Free Lunch theorem for optimization suitable here?

I have some questions related to No Free Lunch theorem in the setting of optimizing cost functions. I posted it on math.se here and here, but from my experience I have the feeling that few people ...
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Are questions about lists of journals allowed?

Many users of the site have a need to keep up with current research in specific areas related to computational science. Recently, someone asked Which journals should I read to keep up on advances in ...
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A thread to request questions be made community wiki

I'm putting this up for people to request that questions be made community wiki.
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1answer
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Is a dense-linear-algebra tag necessary?

As the title suggests, Do we need a dense-linear-algebra tag? I have a few reasons for this: Whenever linear algebra is mentioned in context to Scientific Computing, it usually refers to Sparse ...
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Cross-posting to stackoverflow, mathoverflow and related sites

Many questions that would be appropriate for this site would also be appropriate for mathoverflow, stackoverflow, and possibly other sites. What is the best practice for such questions to promote the ...
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1answer
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Are educational questions on topic?

I saw this post in our stack. It seems to be more about educational psychology and how to learn rather than a direct computational question. Is this on topic?
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Should we allow homework questions?

Lately there have been some questions posed that seem to be homework: Linear programming feasibility problem with strict positivity constraints Approximately "solving" a linear system of ...
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Are questions about games on topic here?

This question was migrated here from Math.SE. Is it on-topic here?
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4answers
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What is the best way to encourage other SE sites to include us in their FAQs?

One thing I've noticed about some stack exchange sites is that they have more detailed FAQs than we do (because they've been around longer). As part of these FAQs, they describe closely related, but ...
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Is network simulation on topic?

I'm asking because of this question about network simulation, which currently has two votes to close as off-topic. I would classify it as "computational science for computer science." Certainly it ...
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4answers
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Are debugging questions appropriate here?

If someone is having problems coding an algorithm, and they provide the code, should we redirect them to the stackoverflow website or some other language specific website?
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Can we discuss the coding for MATLAB/Mathematica/SciPy/etc here?

Like how to vectorize the data structure, how to visualize the computational results in an elegant way, or can we share the code or subroutine here?
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1answer
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Do questions about numerical analysis and software packages belong here?

I just whether is this a right place to ask about the theoretical analysis of numerical methods or the software packages pertaining to numerical analysis?
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5answers
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How appropriate are software package-specific installation questions?

This question is in the same spirit as the meta question "How appropriate are software package specific questions?" and has come up as a result of the question "How do you install an R executable ...
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4answers
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Are purely algorithmic questions on topic here?

This question asks a question that is about an algorithm which is not a traditional part of computational science - maybe rather of theoretical computer science. If we decide these questions belong on ...
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Matlab or MATLAB?

Similar to "FORTRAN or Fortran?", I've seen the Mathworks produced software package written as MATLAB (for example, see this Wikipedia article, and the product web site) and also as Matlab (for ...
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If we ask a poster to revise or clarify their question (or answer), how long should we wait for them to do so?

Sometimes, questions (or answers) that are slightly off-topic, vague, or unclear can be salvaged by prodding the poster to make edits. However, people who post don't necessarily get around to making ...
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0answers
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Moderator Pro Tem Announcement

Throughout the beta, we need members from the site whose focus is to engage the community, both in community-building issues and site management. That's why we select a few members from each community ...
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What specifically is off-topic about the “Sequence Alignment” question?

The commenters seem to agree that this question is off topic. What specifically about the question makes it off-topic?
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1answer
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How do we encourage people to vote?

I really like the post "Vote early, vote often". When I look at the all-time voting statistics, it seems like our experienced users, as a group, don't vote much (between a vote or two per ...
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2answers
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Are image processing questions on topic here?

I noticed two questions, this one and this one, that seem to be about image processing, or possibly just research CS regarding images. Are these on- or off-topic? If off-topic, should these be moved ...
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9answers
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A thread for tag mergers and tag synonyms

Related to the thread What is our policy on ambiguous tags?, I am starting this thread, for the benefit of people who wish to call attention to tags that should be merged, synonymized, or other such ...
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Who should the moderators be?

Were are quite long in the beta and things start to become a little messy -- high time to obtain some pro tem mods. Rules: A person interested in being a mod posts an answer featuring username and ...
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5answers
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How can we contact more experts to grow our community?

So far we've had several questions about what this site is about, what we can tell people about it, and how to tell people about it. The logical followup is: who do we tell about it and where? In ...
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Are simple simulation questions on topic here?

We recently got a question on Physics.SE about how to properly simulate multi-body collisions that occur within a time step. The OP says he was directed away from Stack Overflow, but it seems off ...
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Do questions about modeling charges in programming fit here?

At electronics.SE we received this question: Representing charges in computer programming The gist of the question comes from this paragraph: How can electric charges be represented in terms of ...
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3answers
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What are best practices on disclosing conflicts of interest on the web site?

What is the best way to disclose conflicts of interest on the web site? For instance, if I am a developer of a software package, should I disclose that in every post I make mentioning the software ...
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1answer
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Why does the URL for this Stack Exchange use “scicomp,” but the title says “Computational Science”?

Perhaps it's a trivial question, but why does the URL for this Stack Exchange use "scicomp," but the title of the Stack Exchange is "Computational Science"? I ask because the URL and the title seem ...
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Is data visualization off topic?

Data visualization follows simulation results, and naturally support staff at university and national HPC centers provide expertise in both domains. How should we handle questions pertaining to data ...
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FORTRAN or Fortran?

I've noticed a recent question got edited first one way, and then the other. It seems the growing convention as been to refer to the language as Fortran, and unless one is referring to historical ...
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3answers
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Is the beta community representative of the intended audience?

The people involved in this beta were likely recruited somewhat through social networking. I am curious if this has resulted in the beta community being a particularly isolated subcommunity within ...
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What should be our answer to “what kind of questions can I ask here?”

Right now we have the following at the top of the FAQ: What kind of questions can I ask here? Computational Science - Stack Exchange is for for scientists doing science by heavy computations....