Here you find some advice and examples to help you formulate your question.

Advices for writing a good question

  •  Title: The title of the question should not necessarily ask the question, but rather attract the attention of the reader. The title should contain important keywords that should be known by an average scientist, and make a clear connection with a mathematical topic.
  • Abstract: A very concise version of your question should be written first, within a few sentences. The level of technical terms should remain as low as possible and the question asked should sound interesting enough for the reader to proceed further. 
  • Additional information: After the abstract you can add extra informations about your question. You may want to include:
    • The main field of mathematics involved. Ex: PDE, algebra, statistics, etc...
    • The estimated complexity of the question. Ex: a quick technical question, a possibly complicated answer, a very challenging question, etc...
    • The expected type of answer. Ex: a simple reference, an idea of how to proceed, a detailed explanation, a discussion, a collaboration, etc...
    • A deadline if applicable, or estimated period within which you need an answer.
  • Attachment: Here you can add extra material in order for the interested reader to better understand your question. Ex: graphs, a write-up of your work, etc... Do not spend too much time to add a lot of information as the goal of this platform is just to find people willing to work with you on your question. References, pictures, some equations or brief description of the background should be enough.


Here is the question that Sam Cooper, former PhD student in the Material department asked us a while ago, and that resulted in a publication with a PhD in mathematics:

I'm a 2nd year PhD student working on the diffusion of oxygen ions in solids. I have written a finite difference scheme to simulated 1D diffusion, but have also managed to guess an analytical solution which appears to agree with the simulation. I have no idea if or how this analytical solution is correct and would like some help understanding this system better in preparation for a publication on the topic.

See the attached file for more details.