This month (March) Math Educators SE turns 10 years old. Congratulations on asking, answering, voting, and building this community for a whole decade!

Whenever a Stack Exchange site turns 10 we like to celebrate by encouraging users to reflect on their experiences here.

How did you first discover the site? Do you have a favorite question or answer that helped you solve a problem? Any funny anecdotes or other insights on your time here, that you would like to share? We want to hear it all!


2 Answers 2


I honestly cannot recall how I first found this site, but I do have an example of a question & answer here that have informed my teaching practices. In fact, I show the Q&A to my students during class!

Years ago, a post asked "How can I teach my students the difference between a sequence and a series?" I responded, and my reply was eventually highly-upvoted and accepted as an answer. That response was, essentially, "Students are confused because 'series' differs from its colloquial usage. We should call them 'infinite sums' instead."

However, an ensuing discussion in the comments (and in my own teaching experiences) eventually led me to shift that belief. I still believe students are confused by these terms because of their different colloquial meanings, but I no longer think we should use a new term. Instead, I use this topic as a reminder for students that math & science often have words and phrases that mean something specific in one context but something completely different in another (perhaps non-scientific) context. And "series" is a great example of that.

So, I edited my reply with an addendum about this evolution in my thinking. And now, when I teach this topic in Calculus II, right after discussing the sequence of partial sums of a series... I pull up this post on the screen in the classroom! I make sure to zoom in so we just see the text of the post, and we read through "this random teacher's post" about how these terms can be confusing. And then we read the addendum. And THEN I scroll down to reveal that it was me writing all along.

I think that learning about how their teacher's thinking on this issue has evolved -- along with the surprise factor of revealing that it's my post -- helps the students remember this issue and distinguish between a sequence and a series.

I think this is also a great example of how this site brings together educators to share knowledge and improve our teaching practices. Here's to many more years!


Ten years ago, I responded to JRN's question:

The "water triangle" proportional reasoning task (MESE 29)

after a somewhat deep dive into wikipedia edits, googling, emailing, and reading dissertations. Ultimately, the outcome was not only that I managed to find a solution to the question (my answer) but also that I published a chapter in a Springer textbook on creativity and technology in mathematics education about this reference request, in particular, and made ample mention of MESE, in general. Citation:

Dickman, Benjamin. "Creativity in question and answer digital spaces for mathematics education: A case study of the water triangle for proportional reasoning." Creativity and Technology in Mathematics Education (2018): 233-248. Springer Link.

I've also uploaded a copy (without paywall) to ResearchGate: open link.

(Hard to understand how ten years can simultaneously feel like a short and long period of time.)


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