I have noticed reduction of activity on all StackExchange sites recently. For instance, for this question in 2012 I quickly received a lot of upvotes and answers, which also received a lot of upvotes, and now hardly anyone is interested even to comment on new questions and answers.

  • 3
    Yes, looking at the site analytics, slowly but surely activity is decreasing. The peak was sometime in 2015 or so. OTOH the number of answers these days is about the same as it was in 2012. I'm willing to bet interests have just shifted. The core mechanics of making the language do algebra get less pull these days, now that people can do much more data science, FEM solving, image processing, etc. You can query the SEDE to learn about what tags are popular these days. Moreover some of the real power users are much less active these days.
    – b3m2a1
    Mar 11, 2021 at 23:13
  • @b3m2a1 some other Stackexchange sites also have reduced activity, such as math.stackexchange, and some are nearly dead (such as russian.stackexchange) though they were very popular years ago. I wonder, why. Is there some competition from other platforms?
    – Anixx
    Mar 11, 2021 at 23:16
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    Hard to say. At some point the original people who enjoyed answering questions get lives, lose time, lose interest, etc. and if a community doesn't replace those people well the community dies. Mathematica is slowly losing popularity as a platform, I can't speak for math.SE as to whether or not it's truly losing activity or if that's just the perception. It could, however, be the case that some of the less welcoming elements of the site pushed away people who would otherwise have answered questions. I know enough mathematicians to know I don't enjoy interacting with many of them.
    – b3m2a1
    Mar 11, 2021 at 23:19
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    I'd like to say that the point of stack exchange is to make itself obsolete. Many of the basic questions are already asked and answered. In an ideal world, a user would find very likelytheir answers by merely searching the site or by googling. In our not so ideal world, many new users just ask the same question for the 100th time. I can speak only for myself, but I guess that long time users just grow tired of leaving the same comment for the 100th time or of doing the research that the user should have done in the first place and mark the question as duplicate. Mar 12, 2021 at 8:52
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    I for one participate much less because it's become a site with phantom users posting homework questions, often the same question posted multiple times by "different" "posters", yet instead of shutting them down immediately they are allowed, and often used for points-whoring by answerers. Fewer and fewer actually interesting &! useful questions/answers, IMO.
    – ciao
    Mar 12, 2021 at 8:52
  • @ciao Here are my last answers on math.se: math.stackexchange.com/users/2513/anixx?tab=answers Of the 16 last answers only one received any reaction (vote or comment).
    – Anixx
    Mar 12, 2021 at 10:47
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    To build on @Henrik's comment, it was exciting to learn Mma — which, speaking as a math teacher, is most enjoyably done by solving problems — but also to learn it by participating in an equally enthusiastic community. In hindsight, it seems remarkable to have stumbled on a site (only 8 years ago) with a core of experienced users who still had a lot they wanted to learn. Different experiences and interests meant they also had a lot to teach each other. Mma keeps expanding, but it does not always advance the frontiers of my interests. Once we learned what we wanted, enthusiasm naturally wanes.
    – Michael E2
    Mar 14, 2021 at 18:25
  • Well, is Mathematica itself losing users? I've been job searching lately, and I see lots of employers requesting MATLAB experience, never Mathematica. Mar 15, 2021 at 4:17
  • @JerryGuern Matlab is traditionally used in some areas with numerical calculations.
    – Anixx
    Mar 15, 2021 at 4:34
  • @ciao I mean maybe there are just less useful questions to ask, if not, then ask away ;)
    – Rainb
    Mar 15, 2021 at 22:23
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    To me, the questions are getting less and less interesting. It's mostly different variations on the same "find all solutions to this equation", "help me formulate this", "why can't I integrate this...", and anything differential equations / FEM related. There's also a lot of milking of the same kinds of simple list manipulation questions over and over - it's a highly rewarded tag. Good questions with scope for impressive 3D/Image/Audio/Manipulate results and potential for big rewards are rare despite the new features of Mathematica, and it's easier to score in basic list-manipulation problems.
    – flinty
    Mar 18, 2021 at 15:29
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    I think @MichaelE2's comment really goes for me as well and is exactly why my enthusiasm for the site comes and goes - sometimes there are questions related to things I am currently learning and I happen to know the answer or how to get there. But the set of things Mathematica can do is always growing and I am getting slower at learning. And sometimes there's a long run of "eternal september" questions that are boring, especially sometimes coupled with users who never return to even give you an upvote. But I love the site and I look forward to answering questions in a new field someday soon.
    – Carl Lange
    Mar 19, 2021 at 19:04
  • I wonder how the popularity of reddit.com/r/Mathematica is doing compared to here. Mar 25, 2021 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


This community really helped me a lot to learn new things from solutions to day-to-day challenges, basic programming guidelines to some undocumented functions and I don’t think we’d done a good job appreciating those who spent hours even days just to give an accurate and comprehensive comment or answer. I did my best and I hope you enjoy it and find your answer.

Since I don’t have 25,000 reputations to access “site analytics”, I used api.stackexchange.com to get some other data.

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There aren’t too many places which I can express my opinions on this site, so I want to use this answer to say, Thank you all.

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