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I want to get this community's feedback on whether attempting to launch an electrical engineering-themed SE, which would welcome more theoretical / interdisciplinary / research-level / etc. questions would be of any value.

What I have in mind for EE.SE and the new site mentioned above would be similar to how Math SE and Math Overflow currently run things. For those unfamiliar with those two sites, have a look at the following question:

Differences between mathoverflow and math.stackexchange

My motivation:

It is becoming quite cumbersome having to sift through a multitude of questions about Arduinos / Raspberry Pis / etc., simple circuit analysis problems, "name that component"-type questions, and so on; further, I'd also like to have a place to visit which was more welcoming to more advanced questions, possibly theoretically-leaning ones, and those which cut across various sub-fields of electrical engineering. Also, an SE site which welcomes research-level electrical engineering questions could be very beneficial.

Simply put: electrical engineering is a quite diverse field, and I'd like to have an SE site which celebrates that diversity.

I'm curious to get this community's opinion on whether something like this would have any legs. If it would not, I'd be curious to know why that is the case. If it would, perhaps a site proposal on Area 51 would be in order, so long as the objectives of the proposed site could be properly formulated.

Thoughts?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I understand what you mean. Just in my opinion, this whole idea doesn't rhyme with my thoughts. I would see it as one site for one subject, because otherwise there will be too much confusion. I suggest creating a question tab like "advanced" where all advanced level questions will appear after being tagged correspondingly . \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Tork Mar 12 '17 at 9:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Jack, I tend to agree with your motivation. On that note, +1. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Mar 13 '17 at 2:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you do, you should have to have 10000 rep to get in \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Mar 16 '17 at 1:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DanielTork I appreciate that you're an enthusiast, so let me say that there is nothing on this forum that is "advanced" It's mainly 1st year electronics degree stuff or what you see on Arduino plug & play sites. E.g. Of all the 100s of questions regarding the size of a decoupling capacitor, there's not a single formula featuring dV/dt or power supply robustness. That's why they're always 100nF yet no one knows why. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Uszak Mar 16 '17 at 17:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @laptop2d Why do you equate SE reputation with knowledge or expertise? Surely after recent discussions you should know better. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Uszak Mar 16 '17 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PaulUszak Real world experience: I don't. With experience to take time and write good meaningful questions and not ignore the community I generally correlate to reputation. (Although there are still a small few 10k+ users that don't care). Its a bad idea to assume what people are thinking \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Mar 16 '17 at 18:22
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Creating a whole separate SE is too heavy-handed for what you want. We already have tags for , , , and even . You could provide an immense service to the community by helping to "police" these tags to make sure that they are used appropriately.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the feedback. Interestingly enough, the research tag has two associated questions, one of them is not about a research topic at all (rather is about getting paid to do research), and the other one has an overall 3 downvotes; both questions associated with the tag have been closed. But, you raised a good point about providing service to the already established community. I think a good followup question would be (and I may post a new meta question about it): would this community welcome more of these types of questions, or would they be downvoted to minus infinity? \$\endgroup\$ – Mad Jack Mar 12 '17 at 22:54
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It is becoming quite cumbersome having to sift through a multitude of questions about Arduinos / Raspberry Pis / etc., simple circuit analysis problems, "name that component"-type questions, and so on

Well, you don't really have to sift through anything if you're searching for a specific question or topic. You could perhaps suggest a new tag if you find that something is missing.

I'd also like to have a place to visit which was more welcoming to more advanced questions, possibly theoretically-leaning ones, and those which cut across various sub-fields of electrical engineering. Also, an SE site which welcomes research-level electrical engineering questions

All those questions are more than welcome here.

Mathematics + MathOverflow has a total of roughly 827k questions. We have 77k. That's less than even MathOverflow alone. With your proposed "split", I'm afraid that the community would be unnecessarily fragmented. We just don't have that many questions to motivate such a split.

Further, both Arduino and Raspberry Pi has their own forums, and there are not that many homework questions posted, so I honestly don't see the need here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, you don't really have to sift through anything if you're searching for a specific question or topic. — Well, I could be wrong, but I think you're projecting your particular SE interactions onto mine; I quite like to sift through questions to see if there is something new and interesting I can learn. \$\endgroup\$ – Mad Jack Mar 12 '17 at 22:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The above comment aside, I do appreciate your feedback; thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – Mad Jack Mar 12 '17 at 22:57
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The bandwidth here isn't nearly big enough to cause an "I can't find the good stuff" problem

I think if you're going to push this, you'll need to show plenty of examples where the questions of the type you want on another site get poor treatment here.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the feedback, Scott. \$\endgroup\$ – Mad Jack Mar 13 '17 at 19:12
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Currently being on the receiving end of the problem you've highlighted, I thought I'd weigh in. I've recently had some really dip shit answers and comments (can I say that?) This one is a hum dinger.

You're suggesting a further fragmentation of the network. I would suggest the opposite approach. I would suggest consolidation. Micro segmentation of a market requires very strict manipulation of the product. I don't think that this targeted management can be achieved with the current organisational structure and amateur moderation. Ever increasing fragmentation reduces the customer base. I'll return to this.

An example of such an inter disciplinary organisation is The Marine Corps. They boast flexibility to operate successfully across all the services and combat environments without boundaries. "This mission is out of scope" is not frequently heard there. This is diametrically opposite to your suggestion. This of course requires the appropriate mindset in the Marine selectees, and that is missing here.

The second successful example is Stack Exchange by which I mean Stack Overflow. The other sub sites are irrelevant as they're currently just techie versions of Facebook with no market value. Stack Overflow manages to answer four million questions. If you've ever partaken, the range is incredibly broad. Cryptography, Arduino, mathematics and all conceivable programming languages and frameworks abound. As it is essentially a monetized developer recruiter conduit, steps are presumably taken by senior SE management to not place obstacles to revenue flow. Segmentation would make it harder to connect flexible and broad job specifications to appropriate candidates. This is analogous to connecting people who firstly can understand the question (some can't even read it properly) and are then knowledgeable enough to answer it succinctly (without going off on one), with the OP. This focus again is understandably absent here on the minor sites.

There are also fundamental psychological aspects that I won't delve into, but these in conjunction with the reputation system and voting cabals work against solving inter disciplinary questions and constrain general flexibility. This has worked against me a few times.

Ultimately you're suggesting further intransigence by a bunch of amateurs (not employed by the SE network), contributed to by another bunch of amateurs (me), with no professional oversight or guidance. This is unlikely to be successful and will in all probability just splinter the membership and continue to lead to inter disciplinary questions remaining unanswered at best, closed at worst. The key, as in all walks of life is flexibility and adaptability, not more rigour. If it's not off topic mentioning them, remember what fundamentally did in the dinosaurs.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/3988/… is a good read regarding this. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Uszak Mar 15 '17 at 0:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, Paul; nice link, too. Really helps to give me some perspective on how things got to where they are. A further slightly unrelated comment: I'm just finding a lot of what I enjoyed about learning EE topics (and implementing those ideas) to be missing on EE SE. I have an industrial electronics background, but my interests are fairly broad, from specific implementation details to more theoretical aspects; so when I come to the electrical engineering SE, I expect ... more. \$\endgroup\$ – Mad Jack Mar 15 '17 at 0:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MadJack Yes the theoretical aspects are somewhat laughable aren't they? Most significantly, you'll have noticed the absence of mathematics on this forum. Basic electronic degrees involve abstract mathematics, complex number theory and you probably integrate a lot. And there's all those funky Greek letters too. I suspect that there isn't a single single integral anywhere near here, never mind treble integrals. Kinda hard to explain adaptive controls without them... You come across division quite often though :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Uszak Mar 15 '17 at 0:49

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