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I'm a software engineer and while my math is ok it's not great.

From time to time I run into the need to solve a problem that is beyond my abilities.

They are generally of the rearrange this formula so x is the output type. And generally highly specific to whatever I'm working on.

I get some traction from feeding things through the wolfram alpha solver, but frequently either it can't do what I want, I don't know the right way to ask, or I don't understand it's answer.

I don't know any mathematicians so I was wondering if there was someplace I could ask these questions and have people with decent math skills look at them.

I'm not averse to paying and I'm not looking to freeload, but currently I don't even know who to ask.

I don't imagine the answers would be of use to anyone else, so asking here doesn't seem right, although I guess the approach used might be of use to a more general audience.

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I'm on many math forums, and can't think of one where your questions would be unwelcome (well, MO...). If you are having trouble formatting your questions, check out or use a forum where you can embed images. Good luck! – The Chaz 2.0 Apr 4 '11 at 12:25
I tried asking my current question here, we'll see how it goes.… – tolomea Apr 5 '11 at 0:37

I think you can ask any maths related questions here. I don't think anyone here would think of a question as "not of use for anyone and therefore unwelcome". People here answer questions because they think it's fun thinking about a problem and then solving it, not because a particular question seems useful in any way.

Edit: Of course, assuming your questions are not related to a particular implementation in any way.

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You might check with a local college or university if you want some personal attention. Math grad students could probably answer or duly research questions of the "rewrite this equation" kind. If they don't know the answer, they'll surely know a professor who will (or who will spot that you've asked a really good/hard question).

There are sites online where paid answer research is provided (search engines should ferret them out for you), but there are also sites like this one where, if your question can be stated clearly, you are apt to get a quick answer for free.

I wouldn't worry too much about formatting your question in LaTex, as many of the old hands here seem to be willing to reformat/edit your question (provided it is clear what equation or other math you are asking about).

You could try a newsgroup such as sci.math for help in making your question more precise, if you don't feel it is "ready for primetime". Questions that are too vague or unanswerable, or that duplicate previous questions here, are apt to be quickly closed (and in some case removed). So place a premium here on having the question you want answered clearly stated. [The biggest problem may be leaving out details about "why" you want an answer but making the important details available for what you require in an answer.]

While we are on the subject, since your questions may be motivated by software design, there are a certain number of Questions posted at with a "math" tag. That would be appropriate if the the answer requires some consideration of the software implementation.

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