by Stephen Tashi
Tags: mathematical, posts
 Mentor P: 18,346 Why stop at answers?? Why not generalize the questions too?? Question type 1: The utterly clueless Example: I want to solve the integral $\int_0^{2\pi}{\cos(x)dx}$. I tried $$\int_0^{2\pi}{\cos(x)dx}=\left[\frac{\sin(x)}{x}\right]_0^{2\pi}=\frac{\sin(2\pi)}{2\pi}-\frac{\sin(0)}{0}=\sin-\sin=0$$ Wolfram alpha says I'm correct, but my professor says that it's wrong. Is my professor an idiot?? Question type 2: Too general questions Example: I don't really understand quantum mechanics. Can anybody explain this too me?? Question type 3: Too specific questions Example: I want to find the Q-cohomology group of the twisted etale sheaf. Perhaps we can use the vector bundle fibration with respect to the free group on 5 elements? Any ideas? Question type 4: The lazy Example: I want to find the roots to the polynomial $x^2+x+1=0$. Can anybody help me. This assignment is due in 1 hour. Please help me now!!
Mentor
P: 26,655
 Quote by micromass Why stop at answers?? Why not generalize the questions too?? Question type 1: The utterly clueless Example: I want to solve the integral $\int_0^{2\pi}{\cos(x)dx}$. I tried $$\int_0^{2\pi}{\cos(x)dx}=\left[\frac{\sin(x)}{x}\right]_0^{2\pi}=\frac{\sin(2\pi)}{2\pi}-\frac{\sin(0)}{0}=\sin-\sin=0$$ Wolfram alpha says I'm correct, but my professor says that it's wrong. Is my professor an idiot?? Question type 2: Too general questions Example: I don't really understand quantum mechanics. Can anybody explain this too me?? Question type 3: Too specific questions Example: I want to find the Q-cohomology group of the twisted etale sheaf. Perhaps we can use the vector bundle fibration with respect to the free group on 5 elements? Any ideas? Question type 4: The lazy Example: I want to find the roots to the polynomial $x^2+x+1=0$. Can anybody help me. This assignment is due in 1 hour. Please help me now!!
LOL!!

I love the ones that say NEED HELP NOW!!!!! Then attach a photocopy of a long list of problems and say "be specific with your answers and put them in the following format..." Then an hour later "you people SUCK, I need these answers NOW!!"

Mentor
P: 15,201

Pattern 6: PhD level answer to a high school level question.
This question is trivially answered if you look at from the perspective of a Grothendieck topology1. Why didn't you use that approach?

1 I haven't the foggiest what a Grothendieck topology is. I used "Pattern 2: Googleation" to find the term. It wasn't hard; one nice thing about wikipedia articles is that so many of them rely heavily on Pattern 6.

However,
 Quote by Stephen Tashi Pattern 4: Suspicion Is this a homework problem? What ways have you tried to do X. Show us your work. Sure it might take an hour or two to get all that typed up and submitted, but I have the time to wait.
There's a good reason for this pattern. Some students cheat. Providing answers to the "do my homework for me" type posts is aiding and abetting, and it is a disservice to the teachers and to the many students who don't cheat.
P: 3,313
 Quote by micromass Why stop at answers?? Why not generalize the questions too??
Question type 5: The Software Handicap

My company has recieved a contract to build the first commercial boron fusion reactor and I have been assigned to produce a detailed simulation of the fusion process and its effect on the containment chamber. How can I do this in an Excel spreadsheet?
 HW Helper P: 6,189 Question type 6: Nice problem! The OP has a really interesting problem that triggers you to do some research. You post back and he understands perfectly what you write and takes it to the next level. To top it off he's really appreciative, which makes you smile.
P: 754
 Pattern 4: Suspicion Is this a homework problem? What ways have you tried to do X. Show us your work. Sure it might take an hour or two to get all that typed up and submitted, but I have the time to wait.
 Quote by D H There's a good reason for this pattern. Some students cheat. Providing answers to the "do my homework for me" type posts is aiding and abetting, and it is a disservice to the teachers and to the many students who don't cheat.
But it really does take that long take that long to enter the problem and the work. Surely that amount of effort deserves a helpful answer.
 P: 754 Pattern 7: is that a typo? Sorry but your whole answer (and the answers offered by the other members) is wrong. Clearly when you wrote f/x) you meant f(x) but until you fix that typo we have to assume f is a variable and it's being divided by x. Pattern 8: redundant answer Totally ignoring the fine answers already given, and the OP's acknowledgement of completion of the problem, this answer provides information that is already given, or at best, a new way to get the same answer.
Mentor
P: 18,346
 Quote by ArcanaNoir But it really does take that long take that long to enter the problem and the work. Surely that amount of effort deserves a helpful answer.
Thinking about a problem, working out the solution, typing up a helpful answer takes just as long!! And we have nothing to gain with it, we do it in our free time! Surely that amount of effort deserves the courtesy to type up the work and to think a bit before posting.
HW Helper
P: 1,991
 Quote by I like Serena Question type 6: Nice problem! The OP has a really interesting problem that triggers you to do some research. You post back and he understands perfectly what you write and takes it to the next level. To top it off he's really appreciative, which makes you smile.
Question type 6a: Nice problem!

The OP has a really interesting problem that triggers you to do some research.
You post back and it falls into an echoless void, you never hear anything more. Or maybe something and reply to the reply falls into the void.

Except maybe the same OP posts another problem maybe in same general area, you post back and the same thing happens again.

Maybe after a bit of this you don't post back though.
Mentor
P: 15,201
 Quote by ArcanaNoir But it really does take that long take that long to enter the problem and the work. Surely that amount of effort deserves a helpful answer.
You should see the stuff that we mentors reject. Based on a real example:

 Quote by anonymous user 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data The ﬁgures below show ... [majority of problem satement elided] You may assume that gravity (g = 9.8 m/s2 ) is acting downward in the ﬁgure. 2. Relevant equations Conservation of Energy 3. The attempt at a solution
Based on way the question is formatted, it was quite obvious that in this case the student simply copied the question from an e-book and pasted it into our homework template. The relevant equation was obviously the first thing that came to the student's mind. No attempt whatsoever at a solution. How much effort did that take? 30 seconds, maybe?
P: 754
 Quote by D H You should see the stuff that we mentors reject. Based on a real example: Based on way the question is formatted, it was quite obvious that in this case the student simply copied the question from an e-book and pasted it into our homework template. The relevant equation was obviously the first thing that came to the student's mind. No attempt whatsoever at a solution. How much effort did that take? 30 seconds, maybe?
I didn't mean everybody, I only meant me :p
HW Helper
P: 6,189
 Quote by epenguin Question type 6a: Nice problem! The OP has a really interesting problem that triggers you to do some research. You post back and it falls into an echoless void, you never hear anything more. Or maybe something and reply to the reply falls into the void. Except maybe the same OP posts another problem maybe in same general area, you post back and the same thing happens again. Maybe after a bit of this you don't post back though.

However, in one particular thread there were follow-ups by 2 different new posters!
So an echo-less problem turned out to be quite satisfying!
PF Gold
P: 5,079
 Quote by micromass Question type 2: Too general questions Example: I don't really understand quantum mechanics. Can anybody explain this too me??
Since, in another thread, the issue of not many questions about discrete math came up, I'll add one with an example of this question type:

Can someone briefly explain the proof of the classification of finite simple groups?
 P: 98 twisted individuals.
HW Helper
PF Gold
P: 1,963
Question type 4a: The grammatically/punctuation/typing lazy.
Example:
 Quote by hypothetical, anonymous poster 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data find the magnitude F of 2 protons 1 m apart 2. Relevant equations 3. The attempt at a solution when i try 2 simplify F=1/4piee0 1.6 10-19^2/1^2 i get 6.67577433610-29 but my teacher says z answer is 2.3010-28 ive trid putting n my calculator twice but i go z same answer gain do u think my calculator broken?

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