2013 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

See a theory of moderation for the typical roles and abilities of a moderator. Once elected, moderators may hold the position as long as they wish, unless they become inactive or exhibit gross misbehavior.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege and trust on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior within the community. Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Depending on the number of nominees that enter, and the number of moderator positions to be filled, in some circumstances the election may skip the Primary phase and proceed directly to the Election phase.

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!


This election ended May 21 '13 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution.


5,313 voters were eligible, 2,137 visited the site during the election, 1,575 visited the election page, and 437 voted

295

I'm a second year mathematics major at the University of Chicago.

The Math.SE community means a lot to me. I've seen the site grow from maybe 15,000 questions and half as many users to what it is today. At the same time, Math.SE has seen me grow as a mathematician, and I've been grateful every step of the way.

My policies:

  • Unilateral close votes: I would only unilaterally close spam, offensive material and duplicates posted by the same user within the same day.

  • PSQs: While I wish to discourage them (and may downvote them), I would not use moderator powers against them unless a community (near) consensus is reached.

  • Contest problems: I will lock them until the contest is over.

  • Cheating: Math.SE is lenient, but that does not mean it can be abused. If I see convincing evidence that someone is attempting to use Math.SE for academic dishonesty (primarily on take-home exams, but if I'm contacted by an instructor homework would also count) I would delete the questions and suspend the user.

  • Problematic users: I would deal with users causing a disruption on the site on a very case-by-case basis.

That's all the space I have. Feel free to ask me questions in chat.

185

To begin, I believe that the central role of a moderator is to take care of those hopefully rare but potentially problematic cases that regular users simply cannot handle in the urgent manner needed. As an example, the community at large handles the closing and re-opening of questionable posts quite well, and I feel moderators should only use their sledgehammers in cases where timeliness is important, e.g., (con)test questions or objectionable content.

I do not see moderators as leaders of the math.SE community. I see them as a kind of police force, given extra tools and powers to keep the community running smoothly, but not directing policy. I do understand that, for better or for worse, with their special status moderators are an obvious choice for community role models. I feel that my conduct on math.SE to date demonstrates that I am also up for this secondary role: never suspended or warned, and only ruffling a few feathers along the way.

I believe I am someone who can work well with the current crop of moderators, and feel I have learned much about effective moderating by observing their conduct.

Lastly, I look forward to answering your questions! [kisses baby]

250

I am an incoming math graduate student at University of Florida. I've posted actively since October in the group theory, abstract algebra, and finite groups tags (my area of research).

I participate in MSE because I enjoy talking about mathematics in a honest and relaxed setting. I am here to write interesting questions and answers and read those written by others.

For this reason, I understand the recent frustrations with PSQs. As a mod, I'd encourage users to improve the quality of their questions, while maintaining a dialog with those of us who do not share these frustrations. I will state my full stance: I only support closing definition-reinforcing (see comments) PSQs for which the user is unresponsive (or combative) to commenters, with a gentle suggestion that the question may be reopened with added details. As a peripheral issue, I would also encourage better question titling to prevent duplicates.

I would be a good mod because I am firm when called for, but I am also fair. I do listen. Also, as anyone will tell you on chat, I like to keep the mood light.

Overall, I would work to keep MSE a fun, happy place with good quality questions.

203

Hi, I'm a postdoc at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

I've been a participant of this site for more than 1.5 years now. Although I don't have that much reputation, I think I have some experience, as you can see for example from 230 helpful flags (out of 262 total), about 2500 reviews, about 500 comments, ...

When it comes to moderation I see a consensus among the community as well as the candidates that moderators are there to handle the extreme cases. Many things are dealt with excellently by the community, e.g. by the review system and the comments.

As it seems to be an important issue for some of you: My view on questions just consisting of a (homework) problem (PSQ) is that they should be discouraged. Not so much because the community thinks they are not good, but because mathematics is like sports: You don't gain fitness by passively consuming it. Downvoting or closing can be appropriate ways (for the community, not in particular the moderators) to deal with them. But I also think that in the last weeks sometimes there has not been enough care, investigating if an OP put self-effort. Also I encourage you to upvote homework questions where self-effort is shown nicely.

201

My view is that moderation should mostly be done in the background and where time is a real issue, such as ongoing contests. I would tone myself down and engage much less in policy debates on meta. I agree that a moderator should not be a policy advocate. Much of the ordinary closing business can and should be left to the community. For this reason, I think my well-documented opinion on what has become known as the PSQ would not influence my moderation much.

I never had a problem with current moderators and think it is crucial that the team of mods works well together. Every user and moderator may make information on myself available that could be relevant to my candidacy.

Personal information: I'm a postdoctoral researcher in economics at the University of Innsbruck. I do have some experience in teaching mathematics in a classroom setting.

P.S.: This field is too small to fully explain my moderation philosophy...

23

I am running for moderator because I believe I can help maintain this site: handle out-of-control users, manage flags, and enforce the policies created by the community.

I've been a member of this site for over a year, but my activity really picked up in Nov '12. I help out where and when I can; yes, many of the questions asked here are over my head, but I am always striving to learn more and answer more questions. I complete review tasks when I see them available, and I'm often in the chatroom.

Additionally, I am active on Meta. Although I'm a relatively new(ish) user, I am currently close to the top of the users page when sorted by participation, and am on the first page even when sorted by all-time votes cast.

My moderation philosophy is that a moderator is essentially a "public servant"--my job would be to do as the community wants, regardless of my own position on the issue. This is not to say I will just be quiet and not share my opinion--I will do so, but in a reserved manner. After mixedmath's post on moderation, I certainly see how a diamond next to your name brings with it several restraints on how one should behave.

12

Prospectus:

This community has been my source for self-learning for a long date - in various important aspects: answers, discussions, motivation, etc. And as it seems that there is a low interest in nominating for moderation (I believe mainly due to the recent conflicts in the meta), I want to make myself useful and contribute in some way to the community.

About me:

I'm from Recife, Brazil. As I said in my profile, I didn't like mathematics for most part of my life, now I discovered it's powerful, beautiful and interesting (And I also discovered that I didn't disliked mathematics, I discovered I disliked my teachers methods). This year I'm going to enroll in a mathematics major at the UFPE university.

43

It is my view that a moderator's job is to maintain the site in the least intrusive way possible. As well as this, I think it is important to realise that a moderator acts as a representative of the community. All actions they take should bear this in mind.

If I were elected, I would use this idea as a guide when making decisions alongside the other moderators, and endeavour to make the choices that best reflect the community's opinions rather than my own. Also, I would communicate extensively with the other moderators (particularly the more experienced ones), which I think is vital to ensure consistent moderation and prevent conflicts.

I am aware that my mathematical knowledge may not be on the same level as some of the other candidates, but to my mind being a moderator is about dealing with the workings of the site, and with users. These are things that I think I would be able to do calmly and fairly.

I really appreciate being a member of the site, due to its community-run nature, and want to give back in ways that play to my strengths. This is why I am active in meta and also try to carry out review tasks where possible. Ultimately, this is why I want to be a moderator.

86

I'm a physic student in my second year at the technical university Darmstadt. Even though I study physics, I spend much more time doing math.

I am not very long on Mathematics Stack Exchange, but I would call myself pretty active on this site this query supports it I guess. My main interest are topology and algebra, got my first lectures there this term, so most of my answers are on the basic topics like calculus and real analysis.

I am very often in the chat. So as a moderator every user (with enough reputation) can ask me things there. I think I would be a patient and friendly moderator.

My view on moderation is a passive one. For example I would not unilateral closevote a PSQ, as I think there is no urgent reason for doing so (maybe I will make the fifth vote). But for sure I will closevote questions about ongoing competitions as fast as possible.

This election is complete.