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For my two most recent questions, I used where I meant as the latter doesn't exists.

The former says:

A simple test to apply is: would an amateur or professional mathematician take an interest in the question?

I guess a mathematician doesn't give a damn about something as "low and spiritless" as optimized integer multiplication. Should we create a tag or should we edit to make it clearer that it includes computer arithmetic as well?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Optimized integer multiplication...yumm! Knuth actually spends quite a bit of effort on this topic in AOCP vol. II. \$\endgroup\$ – hardmath Dec 20 '14 at 17:10
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Code Review needs to strike a balance between tags that are specific enough to be useful, and specific tags that may be more precise, but too specific to be useful.

This requires grouping things together now, that at some point, if volumes increase, may need to be split again later.

In my mind, the mathematics tag is fine here, you are dealing with arithmetic, sure, but we don't need to compartmentalize the mathematics system just yet, the volumes are not there, yet.

In this case, for both your questions, the is fine. Should the wiki be udpated? Perhaps, but I think the description covers the important part... that someone interested in mathematics would be interested in both long-form multiplication, and Big Rational numbers

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I'm not convinced that is a desirable tag to have, nor do I think that is a useful tag for that class of arithmetic problems.

The problem with is that it's hard for people to tell when to apply the tag. After all, we use arithmetic all the time. Even if we came up with specific guidelines, the name of the tag is still so broad that the guidelines would likely be ignored, and the tag would end up being meaningless.

I suggest using the and tags in conjunction with a tag for the kind of number ― something like , , . Those tags deal with issues of number representation, manipulation, and situations such as overflow. You could still apply the tag at your discretion, but only if the code has something interesting about the mathematics that might be worth discussing (such as arithmetic operations modulo a prime number).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm really not a fan of the "Is it interesting?" criteria. Interesting to whom? A professional mathematician? An amateur enthusiast? A layman with an interest in ratios? All three would have a different set of "mathematics" problems that are interesting to them. It's not a good yardstick for when to use a tag. (Otherwise a very nice answer.) \$\endgroup\$ – RubberDuck Dec 23 '14 at 11:29

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