is incredibly broad. Its description says:

The challenge involves mathematics. Also consider using more specific tags: [number] [number-theory] [arithmetic] [combinatorics] [graphs] [geometry] [field-theory].

After going through the tag, there seem to be three distinct types of questions tagged with :

  1. Those that deal with a particular field in math, such as , , or
  2. Those that deal with basic math and .
  3. Those that include math, but the math is not the focus of the challenge.

Is a problem, and if so, how should we deal with it?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see how or why this could possibly be an issue... \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Apr 18 '16 at 18:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's so broad, and undescriptive. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 18 '16 at 18:17
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill It's a catch-all for the various math problems that don't fit into one of the existing tags and don't need a tag made for them. It's like code-challenge. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Apr 19 '16 at 0:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego Care to provide examples? I looked through a good deal of them, and I didn't see any of them that didn't within another math-related tag. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19 '16 at 1:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mego You seem to be assuming that having a catch-all tag is a good thing. For challenge types, which should all be disjoint, that makes sense, so we can cover one-off challenge ideas, but I'm not sure it's a good thing for topics. It just means you have to think less hard about how to choose meaningful tags. "Uh, what tags should I use, I don't know, ah math fits, nice I'm done." Seeing how broad it is, it's also virtually useless for filtering, so I really don't see any benefit in having the tag. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19 '16 at 15:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MartinBüttner The alternative is making a new tag every time a challenge about a new math-related topic is posted, which I think is far less preferable. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Apr 19 '16 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego There really aren't that many "fields" in math we haven't already covered with our tags. That said, even if there was a question that was in an obscure field of math, adding the tag math doesn't make it easier to find. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19 '16 at 19:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm agreeing with Alex here - I think this is a non-issue that you're trying to make into an issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Apr 19 '16 at 19:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego perhaps its not a problem, but that doesn't mean we can't make the site better. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19 '16 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with Alex's other point, too - I don't think removing it would benefit the site in any substantial way. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Apr 19 '16 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the words of Finn from Adventure Time... "math that!" \$\endgroup\$
    – mbomb007
    Apr 21 '16 at 18:18

Let's keep it.

Though it encompasses a wide variety of challenges, I do think it adds a level of context not readily available with separate tags like , , or what have you.

Consider this (admittedly contrived) scenario. Say a user is thinking, "I'd like to participate in a mathy challenge but I don't have a particular type of math in mind." If there was no way to say "math only, pls" then they have to search through a huge number of tags and would likely overlook some interesting challenges that involved a different kind of math. As it stands, they can just say, "find me " and they'll be able to explore a lot more challenges.

Further, I fail to see any actual benefit to removing the tag. So what if it's broad and encompasses many challenges? It's typically used in conjunction with more specific tags, which seems perfectly fine to me.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In your scenario, the problem is that pretty much every challenge involves math. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 18 '16 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill I disagree. Though a lot of challenges do involve some degree of math, I think the tag is more saying "this is about math," not "this will require a bit of math." We have [string], [ascii-art], [file-system], and all kinds of other things. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Apr 18 '16 at 18:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ So would you argue we remove math from challenges that require math, but aren't about math? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 18 '16 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill Do you have any examples of challenges that require some degree of math and aren't about math but bear the [math] tag? \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Apr 18 '16 at 18:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ The top question from the tag \$\endgroup\$ Apr 18 '16 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill Computing the GCD is one of the subtasks of that challenge so I'd argue that it's relevant in that case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Apr 18 '16 at 18:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I personally disagree, but here are 5 more from the first page. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 18 '16 at 18:46
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill, "knot or not" is one of the most mathematical questions on the entire site, and is probably a good argument for having a math tag, because topology isn't going to have many questions at all. "Mandelbrot image" is also clearly mathematical. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19 '16 at 7:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I agree that they are all mathematical. The entire site is mathematical, which is why math should be broken down. Whether or not "Knot or Not" goes in a topology tag, or some other tag, I don't really care, but as it stands, everything fits under math. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19 '16 at 12:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill quine, hello-world, string, and kolmogrov-complexity are several examples of subjects that are not inherently mathy. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Apr 19 '16 at 18:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not arguing that every tag is mathy, but that every question on this site is mathy. kolmogrov-complexity and quine absolutely do have to with math. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19 '16 at 19:18

Yes, it should be removed.

The steps to fix should be:

  1. Go through each of the tagged questions, remove , and add the particular field it is in.
  2. If math isn't the focus of the challenge, the simply remove the tag.
  3. Make a synonym for
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Certainly matharithmetic \$\endgroup\$
    – flawr
    Apr 18 '16 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Um, your saying math is too broad, and your solution is to make a bunch of tags that can be summed up as Mathematics or math, so I don't see this issue \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19 '16 at 11:24
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @GenericUser He's saying that rather than tagging things [math], we should use tags more specific to the type of math, e.g. [geometry], [number-theory], etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Apr 19 '16 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know, but it doesn't seem necessary. I don't look at a math question assume it's only about arithmetic. The subject isn't too broad. Tags should be specific, but not to the point of one for every detail of a subject. It would confusing to have questions with 12 or so tags, but it seems since there's been so recent new tags, some are starting to try and do that. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19 '16 at 21:45

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