In some sense we live in the age of globalization and vast online social networks that connect people all around the world to each other. Nowadays the time that you might spend talking with your friends from other continents online could easily match the time that you spend with your family, friends and coworkers in your hometown. The borders don’t make that much sense anymore and people of a region know and care about what happens thousands miles farther than where they live and all these are possible because of the great influence of social networks in the post-modern humans’ life and culture.
A glimpse to the list of the existing social networking websites shows that beside general sites like Facebook, many professional communities like doctors, athletes, musicians, etc., have successfully managed to found and run their own professional social networking websites which allow them to share their experiences and related content in the best possible way with their colleagues.
Unfortunately up to now the great community of professional mathematicians and math students doesn’t have such an online society. However there exists Q&A websites like MathOverflow.net which host a fairly large number of mathematicians but such websites don’t identify themselves as social networks and don’t allow free discussions, friend makings and many types of content sharing, so they often fail to provide a perfect ground for what is expected from a professional social networking website for mathematicians.
A professional social networking website for mathematicians could have various features. In some sense it could serve as a huge permanent online math conference where mathematicians, young researchers and students can introduce themselves and their research and area of expertise, meet their colleagues and make new friends, share mathematical content and thoughts, discuss on possible approach to an open problem and plan joint works with other people, joining math groups in the other universities and attending online talks of prominent mathematicians, etc. It also can serve as a news network for announcing job positions, conferences and miscellaneous events, etc. Furthermore it could be a place for discussing academic and publication policies related to mathematics community, gathering donations for helping mathematical research and talented students in undeveloped countries, or simply hosting polls for mathematicians.
In an extended scale one even may think about participation of philosophers of maths, computer scientists or even some people from physics or engineering and in general all math enthusiasts of various academic positions and disciplines in such a social network for mathematicians.
I don’t know who finally will commence such a community but I am sure such a professional social networking website will attract many mathematicians and will benefit mathematical research all around the world by bringing together almost all mathematical potential of the planet. Journals, research institutes, scientific foundations and NGOs, math software companies, etc., will be quite willing to advertise themselves in such a community and this will help the site to be always thriving financially.
Please cast your vote in the below poll regarding this idea and let us know what other features you possibly have in mind for such a professional community. Also if you know somebody who has some experience in online community building and is willing to help with founding and running such a website, please don’t hesitate inviting them to join this project! Thank you!