Say I've proven a theorem or found a solution to a problem. I'm close to being sure that my proof or solution is fine. However, I'm not entirely confident in my jugdement. Maybe I'm new to the topic, or I remember that I've thought correct my incorrect proofs of the same difficulty level many times before. Is it considered a good idea to post the proof/solution here with just one question: "Is this correct?"

Have you read Qiaochu's answer to this previous question? –  Rahul Feb 5 '12 at 1:30
I have now. Thanks. –  user23211 Feb 5 '12 at 10:47
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 22 down vote accepted

This seems to be an accepted practice, as many others have done it, and I can't recall reading any objections.

Personally, I have a small objection, namely, if your proof is correct, there's not much anyone can do except answer "Yes" (with enough non-printing characters to make the answer long enough to be posted). Let me propose an alternative course of action, and see what people think:

Post the theorem/problem as a question, and your proof/solution as an answer, indicating in the question that you are going to do this, and that if no one shoots down your answer in the next few days then you are going to accept it.

I think we should adopt this as the rule of thumb for this sort of situation. –  Asaf Karagila Feb 5 '12 at 6:34
Thank you, Gerry. I'll see how it goes. If people don't get too mad at me, I'll be doing this from time to time. –  user23211 Feb 5 '12 at 11:12
The only opposition I have to this is that if I do this and get no responses should I conclude that my proof is correct or just that nobody has verified it? –  hmmmm Apr 19 at 11:12
@hmm, I think you're going to run into this problem no matter how you handle it. –  Gerry Myerson Apr 19 at 14:09
@GerryMyerson Sure, but if you ask it as a question with your proof and get no response "Yes" then you can assume that nobody has reviewed it but if the goal is to have nobody reject it you can't tell if nobody has rejected it or nobody has review it- both actions look exactly the same. –  hmmmm Apr 19 at 14:21
add comment

You must log in to answer this question.