2021 Moderator Election

nomination began
Nov 1, 2021 at 20:00
election began
Nov 15, 2021 at 20:00
election ended
Nov 23, 2021 at 20:00
candidates
4
positions
3

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Full elections have three phases and an optional fourth phase (Primary):

  1. Question Collection
  2. Nomination
  3. Primary
  4. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

Additional Links

Questionnaire
The community team has compiled questions from meta for the candidates to answer.
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

[Answer 1 here]

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

[Answer 2 here]

  1. Are there specific challenges that moderators of relatively smaller (which Computational Science SE is) communities face? How do you plan to address them?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. Are you active on other sites on the network? How comfortable are you collaborating with other SE sites to ensure questions find a proper home?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 5 here]

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

[Answer 6 here]

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

[Answer 7 here]

nicoguaro

I have been part of this community for several years now and an appointed pro-tempore moderator since 2017.

Why I might be a good moderator?

  • I think that this community is a good place to ask and read about specific questions on Computational Science.

  • I consider that I have done a good work as a moderator in the past and plan to continue.

  • I think that as a moderator my purpose is to help the community to lead the way and not intervene directly, unless necessary.

  • I have taken some of the courses offered by Stack Exchange to improve as a moderator.

Questionnaire
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

The first step would be to mention the situation to the user. From there it would depend on the reaction.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

I would mention that I don't consider it should have been closed and mention why I consider it that way.

  1. Are there specific challenges that moderators of relatively smaller (which Computational Science SE is) communities face? How do you plan to address them?
  1. Are you active on other sites on the network? How comfortable are you collaborating with other SE sites to ensure questions find a proper home?

Yes. Recently I have been active on Physics.SE with questions related to elasticity and continuum mechanics. I think that teaching moderators from other sites is pretty straightforward and, usually, they have a good attitude about migrations.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 5 here]

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

[Answer 6 here]

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I don't think it would, and I don't think that's the purpose of the site. As moderators we are helping the community to take actions not doing it ourselves.

Tyberius

I have been a Sci-Comp user for almost 5 years and have been trying to be more active here over the last year in terms of answering/editing and assisting new users. I have been an elected mod for the past year and a half on Matter Modeling SE and I think the mod skillset and subject matter overlap would help me as a mod here.

I think the current pro-tem mods are doing a great job and, if they all still want to serve, I'm fine with my candidacy just serving to push the election up to the 4 candidate threshold.

Questionnaire
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

I would address them in comments and chat about not starting arguments or being rude to other users. I think most arguments on the site just stem from misunderstandings or differences in perception of tone, so I think usually talking it out should resolve most issues. If the user is completely resistant to change and continues antagonizing other users, a short suspension might be in order. I think we do need to prioritize conduct standards because valuable content only goes so far if a user drives away parts of the (already somewhat small) community.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

I would talk to them through chat here. Usually with mod closures/deletions, there tends to be a fairly clear reason why, so I'm presumably missing something. If even after that we still disagree, I might make my case on Meta as a community member. Besides obvious cases like spam or some set community policy, I would hope most closures/deletions are being decided by community votes anyway.

  1. Are there specific challenges that moderators of relatively smaller (which Computational Science SE is) communities face? How do you plan to address them?

I think the biggest challenge is even small issues can have an outsized impact on a smaller community. If even a small number of users are driven away due to feeling actively or passively discouraged by other users, that can represent a large chunk of the site's user base. I think the main thing that can done in this regard is to help curate new users questions and get them up to speed with how the site works.

Another issue can be getting feedback on new ideas/policies/projects. Meta sites tend to see a small fraction of the traffic of the main sites and if the main site has a smaller user base, you may have very few users who actively participate on Meta. Making use of "featured" questions is helpful in this regard.

  1. Are you active on other sites on the network? How comfortable are you collaborating with other SE sites to ensure questions find a proper home?

I'm a mod on Matter Modeling SE and am active on Chemistry, with at least some participation in a variety of other sites. I have a bit of experience from Matter Modeling redirecting questions to a more suitable location.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I think mods are there to curate the community: keep out/remove spam, onboard new users, resolve disputes between existing users. If the community wants to establish certain policies, mods are meant to carry those out. As I mentioned earlier, I think most question closure/deletion should be handled by community vote. However, with a smaller community, it can some times mean few active reviewers and so if there were a desire among users, I think mods could handle certain types of questions unilaterally if a community consensus was established.

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I'm okay with it. I don't feel I have any skeletons lurking in old comments/answers/chats across the network. I think I have learned a lot about interacting with other users from my time on Chem and Matter Modeling.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I think with a smaller community, its trickier to build up rep to get to the point where I would have the 10k/20k privileges (if we take users with 200+ rep as being "active" only about 1% of the sites users have reached this threshold, many of whom have been here since the beginning). I think already having mod experience would help me to step in these areas now, rather than building up rep a few more years.

Anton Menshov

I've been an active member of Computational Science SE for several years. What started as a simple "I know how to answer this question", turned into visiting CompSci SE multiple times a day for editing, reviewing, reading, and answering.

I've also served as an appointed pro-tempore moderator from May 2019, and I enjoyed the experience a lot.

Why I might be a good moderator?

  • I enjoy it when things are organized. I don't shy away from editing posts (including typing up long equations), as well as proper tagging/retagging

  • I try to help in making the questions/answers better so that they serve the OP and the community

  • I try to limit my direct intervention into the content whenever possible

  • I visit the website very often as I am always striving for new information, and reading\answering some people's questions is a good way to improve

I'd be happy to continue serving as a moderator for the community I'm already spending a large portion of my life in.

/ part of that statement was copied from my previous 2019 nomination /

Questionnaire
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

It is important to understand the reasons behind the arguments and flags. If the source of it is the confusion of the user with the rules, CoC, general misunderstanding of Stack Exchange mechanics, it has to be clearly communicated both using public and private methods. This is a good use case of a direct message feature that moderators can use to communicate with users.

In case of continuous trouble, warnings or suspensions might be needed, but that is definitely not the first tool to use. While there might be some distinction between a "problematic" high-rep user and a "problematic" new user, I would not distinguish the course of action too much, since communication, conflict mitigation and prevention is key.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

Again, communication. First, I need to understand the reasons behind the action of another moderator and reassess my point of view given that additional information. This can be done in the Moderator's Room or Teacher's Lounge. Moreover, in some cases, I might ask the opinions of moderators of other communities.

  1. Are there specific challenges that moderators of relatively smaller (which Computational Science SE is) communities face? How do you plan to address them?

For moderators of smaller communities, in my opinion, it is more important to keep track of announcements on general Meta and private Moderator's Team. This would require being pro-active in bringing discussions/voting/etc from general Meta to Computational Science SE Meta, so that the community is informed and can take needed actions.

I am quite active in general Meta and Moderator's Team discussions and hope it can serve well for the Computational Science SE community.

  1. Are you active on other sites on the network? How comfortable are you collaborating with other SE sites to ensure questions find a proper home?

I am active on Meta, Stack Overflow, Stack Overflow in Russian, Academia, and Chess. These are not necessarily the most likely targets for the migrations.

However, as a pro-tempore moderator, I have experience migrating questions to many other communities and am familiar with the rules\on-topic-ness of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematica, and several other communities.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators are active members of the community who help to keep things clean and organized, who apply/enforce policies that were determined by the community itself, and serve as a [not unique] link between the particular community and Stack Exchange as a whole.

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

100% comfortable. I have had a diamond attached for about 2 years, and even before becoming a moderator, I followed the same principles.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Moderators have some tools (tag organization, direct communication, access to peer moderators, etc) that help to be more efficient in serving the community.

Paul

I’ve been a member of the scicomp stack exchange community for nearly ten years and have been moderator for nearly eight years. I’m also a senior aerospace engineer with degrees in computational science, applied mathematics, and spanish.

In a nutshell, here is why i think i would be a good candidate for scicomp moderator:

  • I’ve been a scicomp moderator for nearly 8 years now and wish to continue serving the community

  • I am a practitioner of advanced computational science methods, algorithms, and software

  • I hold degrees in applied mathematics and computational science

  • I want to be an advocate for mutual respect in the community, especially for newcomers.

Questionnaire
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

It is important to the success of the community to ensure an open environment where different opinions are valued and respected. If arguments are over best solutions to a problem, that is welcome. If arguments become personal and veer into disrespect, I take issue with that. In those cases, communication is key. Reminding the user of policies and being an advocate for mutual respect has helped diffuse many of these situations in the past. When this hasn’t worked, collaboration with other moderators to essential to formulating a plan of action for the user.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

Open, honest communication is key. I would begin dialog privately to discuss the matter with the other moderator to understand the motivation behind the action taken, explain my perspective and come up with a mutually agreeable policy going forward.

  1. Are there specific challenges that moderators of relatively smaller (which Computational Science SE is) communities face? How do you plan to address them?

There is always a desire to expand the user base, increase site traffic and number of questions per day. The important thing isn’t so much the quantity of questions but the quality. The site has maintained a good base of active users who vet questions well through voting. Nonetheless, many questions still go unanswered for a myriad of reasons. One challenge is expanding the base of experienced practitioners to help generate more answers. I hope to work with my fellow moderators to see how best to reach out to the professional community to grow more active users in this category.

  1. Are you active on other sites on the network? How comfortable are you collaborating with other SE sites to ensure questions find a proper home?

As an aerospace engineer, I’m also very active in the Space Exploration stack exchange site and feel very comfortable collaborating with other mods to identify good fits for questions.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Practice what they preach. Lead by example. exhibit the behaviors desired by the community. Be an advocate for newcomers and a partner to long term members.

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I don’t mind.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Reputation points are meaningless. Being a moderator is more of a formality. What’s most important is serving the community. Access to moderator tools just helps facilitate this.

This election is over.