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  1. Feb 5, 2016 #21

    Vanadium 50

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    Number of messages in this forum since it's creation, not including this thread. 3
    Number of messages in this thread, not including this one or the starter: 19
  2. Feb 5, 2016 #22
    We can't and why would we want to?

    If it wasn't a problem before it won't be a problem now.


    The primary objective is to provide these unanswered threads with added value. To incentivize participation we relaxed our homework help rules so members feel more free and creative when considering the problems.
  3. Feb 5, 2016 #23
    If these are practice problems then I suppose they are meant for person(s) who are just learning the subject matter and not for "experts". in perusing the questions I found a partially worked problem that has an error in the first part. Should I just point out the error or correct it make suggestions on the unanswered part or what?

    If a person new to the subject matter attempts to solve it how is the forum notified or do we just visit it to see the activity. What if the person wants the answer checked?
  4. Feb 5, 2016 #24
    They are only deemed practice problems because the threads are old enough that the OP wouldn't find them relevant any longer. However, they are still open problems for people to solve and guests who view the threads are interested in solutions. So experts and new learners can all benefit. Feel free to add to the threads in any way that adds value.

    These are treated like any normal threads. It will be listed in New Posts and you'll be notified of any replies.
  5. Feb 5, 2016 #25
    Maybe prefixes on here for specific topics (i.e. thermodynamics, relativity, introductory classical mechanics, etc.). That would be useful if people want practice problems in a particular aspect of physics so that wouldn't have to go through all the threads.
  6. Feb 5, 2016 #26
    Good point, however we don't have the resources to go through and do that one by one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2016
  7. Feb 6, 2016 #27
    It is for the exact reason the thread was made in the first place.

    Just replace homework thread in the quote above with any thread in this page.
  8. Feb 6, 2016 #28


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    Traffic is already landing on these threads. Consolidating them into a forum where they can be answered is better than just letting them sit here.
  9. Feb 6, 2016 #29

    Mark Harder

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    "Open problems
    "Open problems" is often used to denote problems that have not yet been solved by scientific community at large. Using that term to describe a set of exercises is therefore a bit misleading. I'd prefer "Exercises" or "Problem sets".
  10. Feb 7, 2016 #30
    OK so lots of questions have been solved. How do these posts get transferred back to the forum? How does the common user (like me) help in this?
  11. Feb 7, 2016 #31


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    Greg moves them after a while.
    Just go to page 2, 3, 10, ... if you want to find more unsolved problems.
  12. Jun 5, 2016 #32
    In my opinion you should definitely feel free to point out mistakes, and hopefully even give reason why it was a mistaken path towards solving the problem.
    If the homework helpers would not give any tips, any hints, or even any critique... what benefit is the homework forum towards the actual original poster of the thread?

    I suppose if people never have any difficulty in learning math or physics... maybe they will not ask for any help because they don't need any help. Why would those people make threads asking for help on homework sub-forum? (I'm thinking about college-high school level science and mathematics)

    I was under the impression that, it seemed to me that it was forbidden to make threads about high school-to-freshman level science problems, elsewhere than the homework sub-forum. So, therefore the only choice for this level of learners - is to post homework problems and hope to get help to them. I did this type of thing because I was lately participating on a physics/math-recap course.

    My actual (paid) teacher was quite lazy at answering my questions honestly speaking. So I used physicsforum as an additional resource to verify my own homework in a timely manner. I was essentially attending those lectures and doing homework at home, and occasionally communicating with my teacher by e-mail (in a tardy fashion). Then I used the physicsforum as an additional resource. In that sense I was heavily 'self-studying'.
    I also calculated homework problems from afternoon until the evening, and because physicsforum is a global community in a sense. I felt at ease because I could translate some tough problem to English and get fast responses perhaps even during the next day's morning.

    I'm not very rich person either so I don't have access to good tutors etc... I did get some help to some tough calculations from my sister and my best friend, though.
  13. Jun 5, 2016 #33


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    I agree 100%. :smile:

    The real difficult part of giving help on schoolwork-type questions is deciding how much info to give in replies. Almost always posting equation work is giving too much help that the student should be doing themselves. Giving hints as to what direction the student should take in their equation work is generally fine.

    The bottom line is that we want to help students learn how to learn. Giving hints and search terms and finding mistakes helps them way more than showing them how to solve the problem explicitly. I definitely have appreciated the tutorial help that I've gotten over the years "learning how to learn". :smile:
  14. Jan 15, 2017 #34


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    I am having some trouble making sense of how posts are getting organized in "Open Practice Problems". Specifically:

    1. Why is there no "Introductory Physics" subforum?
    2. What determines whether a post shows up in the "View Top Content" list? (If it's number of views, and lots of the new traffic is landing on these threads, then is it a higher priority to solve or at least post in these threads?)


  15. Jan 15, 2017 #35
    Hi RB!

    Intro physics is the first level

    Top Content isn't all that useful for this area, but number of views is one of the factors. Interesting thought to hold those as higher priority as people are landing on them!
  16. Jan 15, 2017 #36
    @Redbelly98 I've just remembered that starting several months ago all non reply threads are deindexed from search engines. So traffic stats for these threads are not really up to date. One a thread has a reply it is able to be indexed. That is why it's important to answer these.
  17. Jan 15, 2017 #37


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    Okay, it makes more sense to me now. I wrongly thought the top level was posts already filtered by "top content" somehow, but now I realize the "View Top Content" thingy is present in all subforums at PF.
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