There was a question (now deleted) which asked for books and resources on Number Theory and Geometry to help with programming competitions.

Can we make a place for things like this?

It isn't a 'Tips for golfing in language X?' question, but I think it (and similar) might work well in tandem with the others. Perhaps split up Number Theory and Geometry into separate questions?

There has been much discussion in chat and meta about preferring challenges that are not trivial, but remember, "The higher, the fewer."

  • \$\begingroup\$ What's the relevance of the newly added final paragraph? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 14:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ The quote is from Star Trek TNG ep.5-20 and it just means that we should be (ever) mindful of the barriers to entry. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


I don't see it as a good fit, for two reasons.

More importantly, is there such a thing as number theory or geometry for programming contests? If it's rephrased as "the number theory or geometry that I'm most likely to encounter in a programming contest" then what the question is really asking for is basic number theory or geometry, the kind of stuff you might encounter in a first-year undergrad course, so the place to ask is either on math.stackexchange.com (for more general textbooks) or cs.stackexchange.com (for more CS-oriented textbooks). If it's "number theory or geometry which might be useful in answering a question on this site", then that's potentially the whole of number theory and geometry.

Less importantly, I get the impression that the kind of contests the question was about are ones which don't fit our model (short time-limit and no sight of the other contestants' answers), so this isn't really a good place to ask anyway.


Put me down as against.

I'm not a fan of the "tips" genre in the first places, but at least it is tightly coupled to the site.

Resource recommendations are a quagmire that expands without bounds. No matter how you try to express rules limiting what can be asked there will be someone who thinks their question is close enough and it ought to be allowed. In took us more than two years to convince many of the inclusionist-leaning, long-time members of Sack Overflow that some category of question being "useful" didn't make it a good match for the site. The detritus of that experiment can still be seen hanging around with historical locks. Yes, those questions would be popular, but we still don't want them.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "Sack Overflow". I have to agree that Stack Overflow has many bad questions seemingly lumped together in a sack, with a few good ones. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justin
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 21:10

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