Math is used everywhere in science and tech, including in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Math questions

Sometimes, we get questions of the form "What is a tensor?" or "How is the trace defined?". Apparently, these questions seem to be "purely mathematical questions", i.e. an answer to these questions doesn't seem to just apply to AI/ML but also to other fields, so maybe they could be asked on Math Stack Exchange.

So, which of these "math questions" can be considered on-topic here?

Which math questions can be asked here?

Here are 3 steps to you help you determine whether a "math question" (like the ones above) is on-topic here or not.

  1. If you found the math problem in the context of AI/ML (e.g. in AI/ML book, paper, article, video, etc.), then, go to the next step, as your question may be on-topic. ​

  2. If you think that this math problem may be specific to AI/ML (in particular, if you think that some math concept is defined/used differently in AI than in other fields) and not a general math problem, then your question may be on-topic, so go to the next step.

  3. Research your question before asking it. There may be already an answer to your question on the web. After having researched your question, if you still think that the math problem may be specific to AI, then you can ask the question here, but, please, include the details of your research and the specific context of the math problem.

    • For example, maybe you are wondering what the gradient vector is. You might have already found a few answers to this question on the web, but you are not sure that those definitions apply to AI because you found a source (e.g. a book or implementation) that suggests something, which seems to be inconsistent with those definitions that you found.

Examples of on-topic math questions


Note that the usual questions about machine learning, deep learning, etc., are on-topic here. For instance, questions about the mathematical details of the support vector machines are on-topic here, as support vector machines are ML models, so these are specific to AI/ML. This meta-post is about simple math questions that, at first glance, do not seem to be ML/DL questions.

If you think that these guidelines are unclear and can be improved, feel free to comment or post below. I am glad to discuss improvements to this post and guidelines.


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