I am trying to brainstorm ways for folks interested in studying or researching math as a hobby to connect with each other. The pleasures of doing math in a social setting is something I have missed since leaving academia, and I know there are others who feel similarly. I am imagining an online platform where:

  1. People with an interest in learning some topic could select a textbook and syllabus, and hold weekly meetings to discuss the material.

  2. People with common research interests could connect and collaborate on academic papers.

  3. People could organize "adult math circles"

  4. People interested in an online talk or lecture series could attend together, and meet afterwards to discuss the topic.

In other words, the idea would be to recreate some of the collaborative/social opportunities that exist in a university. If you are interested in this concept, please say so in the comments and give your ideas for how this might work! Is there an existing social networking site that would be well-suited to this project? What kinds of features would you want to see? Does anything like this already exist?

  • $\begingroup$ Why don't you just join the conferences/research meetings in a nearby university? Most university I know are quite open, as long as you are serious and rigorous enough in research. $\endgroup$
    – High GPA
    Jul 23, 2022 at 5:54
  • $\begingroup$ @High GPA I think this could work for some people. In my case, the closest university is about an hour away, and none of the faculty have research interests that overlap with mine. $\endgroup$
    – Ari Herman
    Jul 23, 2022 at 6:18
  • $\begingroup$ What do you think about the site Art Of Problem Solving? $\endgroup$ Jul 23, 2022 at 6:32
  • $\begingroup$ I've always wondered why this isn't a more popular thing. From what I heard, those collaborative internet projects in years past to work on the Twin Prime conjecture and others were enormously successful, and then I haven't heard much about that approach since. $\endgroup$
    – Trevor
    Jul 23, 2022 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ @insipidintegrator I think of AoPS as being primarily for younger students, but perhaps that is not the case? $\endgroup$
    – Ari Herman
    Jul 23, 2022 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


Based on Abhi's comments, I'm looking into Discord as a possible place to organize the kinds of collaboration mentioned in my original post. Here is one idea of how a Discord server could be set up:

  1. Keep technical discussions within private audio/video channels with small numbers of members (3-10 maybe). This way, the members of a private channel can get to know each other, develop a rapport and collaborate on more extensive study or research projects. This would distinguish it from places like Stack Exchange, where most conversations are public and off-topic socializing is discouraged.

  2. Public channels should be used primarily to post invitations for specific collaborations (study groups, research groups, people interested in discussing and attending an online seminar together, etc.).


These are just ideas. I'd love to hear feedback and alternatives. Do others think Discord would be the right choice of platform? How would you want to see a Discord server set up, if the goal was to promote social connections and collaborations?


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