Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Suggestion Why there is no combinatorics sub forum?

  1. Nov 28, 2011 #1
    combinatorics and discrete mathematics are two of the most fascinating branches of mathematics and have hugely contributed to the development of mathematics. discrete math. problems are usually way more challenging than other areas of mathematics, yet there is no sub forum for this important branch of mathematics on here. why?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2011 #2
    Feel free to post your questions in General Math.
     
  4. Nov 28, 2011 #3

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    To you "combinatorics and discrete mathematics are two of the most fascinating branches of mathematics." Others might disagree and call out nonlinear dynamics as the most important branch of mathematics, yet we don't have a sub forum dedicated to nonlinear dynamics. Yet others will call for a forum dedicated to manifold theory.

    There are several problems with creating a lot of very specific sub fora. One is that boundaries between concepts get less and less firm the more specific one gets. Another is that categories change over time. The killer, though, is that too many subcategories makes for a mess with regard to forum management.

    If you can't find a fit, we do have General Math. In this particular case however, the Set Theory, Logic, Probability, Statistics sub forum is quite applicable.
     
  5. Nov 28, 2011 #4
    It sounds irrational to say that discrete mathematics isn't one of the most important areas of mathematics. Mathematics is the science of studying two different kinds of structures, continuous structures like real numbers and discrete structures like finite groups, finite fields, quasi-groups, etc. Discrete mathematics is almost half of mathematics, non-linear dynamics is not. Number theory, Group theory, finite fields theory, designing algorithms and many other areas of mathematics, especially many branches of applied mathematics, are strongly linked to discrete mathematics. don't you think so?

    Also I don't get why discrete math. problems should be posted on general math. All math problems and questions can be posted on there, so why do we have sub forums for other branches of mathematics? general math would be enough for all of those branches.
     
  6. Nov 28, 2011 #5

    micromass

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    The reason of course is that there aren't enough questions in discrete math. Every subforum has about 5 to 10 new questions every day. This is a healthy statistic.

    But to be honest, I don't see a lot of questions in discrete math. It has been a long time I've seen something on graph theory, for example. A new subcategory is only useful if there are a lot of questions on it. I don't think discrete math satisfies that.
     
  7. Nov 28, 2011 #6

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    We frequently get such question on why such-and-such does not have a forum to itself.

    Let's me give you this fact for you to consider. Condensed matter physics is the LARGEST sub-division in physics, and in fact, can easily be argued as the largest subtopic in physics. Still, do you see a forum solely dedicated to this subject area? Go take a look around. It shares the subforum with Atomic/molecular physics, and computational physics! Imagine that! Even a subject area that is the LARGEST in the field of physics does not have a forum all to itself!

    So already, the argument of importance, of significance, and of size has no bearing on a subject matter getting its own forum. What is more important are (i) frequency of the topic being posted (ii) the level of SUSTAINED interest in that topic (iii) the number of regular members participating in that topic. It is of no point to create a forum for a topic just because ... There has to be an online demand for it in this forum that can justify such a creation.

    So forget what you think about the subject matter in general. Do you think your topic qualifies in all the 3 criteria to justify the creation of its own forum? Do you think the posting frequency matches that of, say, the posting frequency in the Relativity forum?

    Zz.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  8. Nov 28, 2011 #7

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    New forums are created when the traffic already exists, not to wait for a traffic to develop.
     
  9. Nov 28, 2011 #8
    OK, if the majority thinks so then I'm convinced.
     
  10. Nov 28, 2011 #9

    PAllen

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Of course, if Erdos were posting here, he could justify the sub-forum all by himself.
     
  11. Nov 28, 2011 #10

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Would that give us all Erdos number of 1?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook