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In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers. Due to submission count, all questions were selected, along with our backup questions, for a total of 8 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes.Please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):


  1. Do you have any previous experience in moderating a community on StackExchange or somewhere else?

  2. What is your area of expertise?

  3. Are you in the industry or in the academy?

  4. 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?

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

  6. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

  7. 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?

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

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SRKX

Do you have any previous experience in moderating a community on StackExchange or somewhere else?

I have been a moderator of the Quantitative Finance StackExchange site while it was in beta mode since January 2013.

What is your area of expertise?

I have worked in systematic trading of commodity futures (trading decision made every 10 seconds), for a big physical commodity trading firm, and in cross asset asset management, which is what I do today for a living.

I hold a BSc. in Computer Science and an MSc. in Financial Engineering, which enables me to answer questions requiring both programming and financial understanding. I also have a rather broad understanding of the financial industry given the different sectors I've worked in in my career so far.

Are you in the industry or in the academy?

I am at the moment working as a Quantitative Portfolio Manager in a private bank in Hong Kong.

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 try to get in touch with such user in a private chat room to thank him for his contributions and invite him not to get too involved in arguments. The idea here is to stay diplomatic but to show enough authority such that the site stays under control, so temporary ban are sometimes unavoidable.

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

I would get in touch with him as well on a private chat room to discuss the issue and find a consensus. Usually we tend to define rather strict rules between us regarding closing/deletion so we're very rarely disagreeing.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Our role is to help the community by maintaining order on the site in a general sense. This goes from closing question that are off-topic to banning disrespectful users and can involve some housekeeping such as synonym merges. We also act as your contact with respect to the StackExchange global moderation team, with whom we interact to make changes to the site such as adding a new feature etc.

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?

This has been the case for 4 years now, so I just got used to it. I think it's about showing the right example to the community about the usage of the site more than anything; it doesn't change anything about the way I answer to questions or post comments on them (except for questions/answers quality comment).

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

This is more about solving conflicts when needed, and I think this requires having been using the site for a long time to understand its history and the way similar situation were solved in the past.

To be quite honest, moderators being elected, I'd also take great pride in the fact that my peers wanted me to be a representative of this community.

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    $\begingroup$ I've also been around this community for several years. What I saw from SRKX what always professional, polite and constructive. Couldn't wish for anyone better. My hopes are high though, because I feel that both question and answer quality are deteriorating. We should change that. SRKX is the obvious choice. $\endgroup$ – vanguard2k Feb 7 '17 at 10:41
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    $\begingroup$ Cannot agree more concerning Q&A quality. $\endgroup$ – Quantuple Feb 7 '17 at 13:35
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  1. Do you have any previous experience in moderating a community on StackExchange or somewhere else?

Not on a web site. I usyally moderate roundtables (industry and academia), for instance most if the roundtables of Market microstructure: confronting many viewpoints.

  1. What is your area of expertise?

Academic fields: Financial mathematics, statistical learning and stochastic control. Industry: intermediation (brokerage, market making, investment banks), asset management (especially hedge funds).

  1. Are you in the industry or in the academy?

Both.

  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?

Discuss with him to convince him to contribute more positively. The more energy used to help users to progress, the better. Answer and comments should be readable by as much people as possible. Instead of arguing, it is better to improve questions, answers and tags.

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

Discuss with her / him. No hurry to take a decision not accepted by as much people as possible.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Guide users to improve everyone's experience at quant.stackexchange.

  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 will for sure take more time before posting short comments. Will explain more my positions.

  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?

Moderation is more listening to others than bringing my 50 cents. Anyway I have a great respect to SRKX's work. I am only a second choice. Interested by answering to you questions about moderation and to learn more about the election process so that, if next time SRKX will be bored by moderating I will be able to take efficiently the moderation. Better to have a second guy ready to contribute on board.

Please bring me to the last step this time.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the vote of confidence. Just to make things clear, we are looking for 3 moderators; it's not a one-man job. $\endgroup$ – SRKX Feb 8 '17 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, so may be this year @SRKX ;) $\endgroup$ – lehalle Feb 8 '17 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Hello lehalle! It is I, your friend Demeter from citeulike. You and Madeleine (or maybe madilyn) will make good moderators. You have my vote. $\endgroup$ – Ellie Kesselman Feb 17 '17 at 5:15
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    $\begingroup$ Hi @EllieKesselman , funny we both you citeulike and quant.stackexchange actively! $\endgroup$ – lehalle Feb 17 '17 at 15:40
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madilyn

The general themes of my answers are:

  • i. Let's help our community grow larger and more active.

    • You've all experienced receiving a closure vote on your question when you are new to a SE community. Many questions deserve a chance to be reworded to meet community guidelines. Conveying the rules beyond an opaque closure or vote goes a long way to increasing our retention rate of users.

    • As a newer community, we have a high quality of new users with low rep. Many of the users with the top 50 rep on this site joined us more recently. The newer users are not afforded as many privileges to review and edit, and need a dependable mod whom they can easily reach in private.

  • ii. We should be more inclusive to our new users. To this end, our rules on relevant topics can be clearer. Past judgments on this site have often accepted retail traders implicitly seeking help with their favorite pairs trading strategy, whereas we've heavily discouraged students from taking part. The earnest undergrad looking for a job or grad student who fumbled with the mathematical notation in his question will eventually join our industry, and we should support their (eventual) participation in our community. One simple way to resolve this is to have a community wiki for career advice-related questions.

  • iii. Moderation should not be passive. The combination of a more passive meta site and silent closures won't enable us to improve our community. Here's many examples of issues with our site which I'd like to help out with if our moderators do not have the availability to.

  • iv. We want this community to become more useful. One problem faced by this site are that the questions are often too domain-specific for the answers to have the encyclopedic quality of answers on StackOverflow. With only 3 moderators, I hope we have moderators who have the interdisciplinary experience to evaluate the content quality across a diverse range of topics, and to memorialize more of our posts (e.g. community wiki).

Of the old mods, I most closely align with olaker and believe mods with his direction and technical ability will take our community furthest.


  1. Do you have any previous experience in moderating a community on StackExchange or somewhere else?

Does running a WoW guild count? (:

  1. What is your area of expertise?

I lead my current firm's electronic trading in 30+ markets. My work involves market making and stat arb across cash equities, FX, futures, cash equities, and fixed income. This has also brought exposure across low latency software development, U.S, EU and APAC regulations, and partnership accounting. My background is in physics and mathematics.

  1. Are you in the industry or in the academy?

Industry.

  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?

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

In increasing order of elevation: discuss publicly, privately, or reach a consensus with other mods.

Extra emphasis on public discourse. Often people have differing views on a question's relevance and there's some useful insight in a question that we can extract after some fine-tuning from the original author.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

  2. 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?

  3. 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 see having high rep as a reactive role (e.g. reviewing, voting) and moderation as an active role, which entails significant time commitment and the setting of policies by example.

I don't think that being a moderator will change how I carry myself in this community, but it will enable me to do a lot more to support the community's development.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your nomination statement was inspiring and spirited. I enjoyed scrolling through your question history. You have earned my vote: Make Quant StackExchange Great Again! $\endgroup$ – Ellie Kesselman Feb 17 '17 at 5:13
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    $\begingroup$ @EllieKesselman Thanks so much! I perused your site and equally enjoyed the diverse scope of topics that you write about. I take much pride in receiving your vote. $\endgroup$ – madilyn Feb 17 '17 at 9:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your thematic answer at the start of your post $\endgroup$ – lehalle Feb 26 '17 at 12:35
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  1. Do you have any previous experience in moderating a community on StackExchange or somewhere else?

Yes, I have been a moderator on Quant.SE on for 2 and a half years and longer but less active on 120w.nl, a Dutch short story site.

  1. What is your area of expertise?

In my studies, work and free time I've focused on Econometrics, insurance/actuarial sciences and Computer Science/Programming.

  1. Are you in the industry or in the academy?

Industry

  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 first remind the user about the Be Nice Policy (for example in the comments where the arguing happens). Most of the time, more than person is arguing so the reminder is addressed at all participants. If the user continues being argumentative, I write a comment addressed to that user. After that a private chat, and if that doesn't work a moderator message sometimes followed by a short suspension if the misbehaviour continues.

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

I will contact that mod, probably there is a reason I've missed or we agree to open/undelete. This has always worked but if the mod and I couldn't come to an agreement I would trust the other mods viewpoint and let it be.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Keep the site clean and welcoming, thereby making the site useful for existing and new users. In the long run this should lead to growth of the community.

  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?

The diamond has there been for a long time but I believe that with or without diamond it's important to be polite and understanding. I hope that one can not spot a difference in behaviour when I'm a moderator or a regular user.

  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?

It allows one to discuss with moderators of other sites and to better act against rogue behaviour from users but for many day to day tasks the difference will not be big.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks Bob for your contributions and support to this community. $\endgroup$ – Gordon Feb 10 '17 at 14:48
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olaker's user profile and nomination.


  1. Do you have any previous experience in moderating a community on StackExchange or somewhere else?

I have been moderating this community as a pro tem moderator.

  1. What is your area of expertise?

Professionally I am mostly focused on quantitative portfolio management (in a long/short equity hedge fund). I am also a lifelong student of financial history and mathematics (from option pricing models to portfolio optimization).

  1. Are you in the industry or in the academy?

Started in the academy, moved to the industry.

  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?

No one is exempt from the Be nice policy. If a user habitually violates that policy, that is not acceptable. Here is the protocol I'm inclined to follow.

  • Contact the user privately and request politely to moderate the behavior. In the severest cases this step could be skipped.

  • If the situation does not improve, send a formal warning.

  • Suspend the user, if necessary. At this stage, I would ask fellow moderators for a second opinion before taking the disciplinary action.

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

Communication, communication, communication. I'll speak to them and clarify the issue. I have been on the both sides of the matter as a pro tem moderator. We always managed to reach some kind of agreement on what to do with the question.

I have never had a problem with current moderators and I believe it is crucial that the mod team works well together.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

In a nutshell, moderators resolve or cool down disputes and clean up on aisle 3.

  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?

A moderator acts as a representative of the community. All actions they take should bear this in mind. For better or for worse, with their special status moderators are an obvious choice for community role models. In short: I expect to be held to a higher standard of behavior as a moderator.

  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 that a crucial role of a moderator is to take care of those hopefully exceptional but potentially problematic situations that regular high rep users simply cannot handle in the urgent manner needed. A moderator vote is final: votes to close, re-open or delete a question are immediately binding. Flags to remove a post are acted upon immediately. In addition, moderators have nuclear capabilities to place users in timed suspension and delete users if necessary.

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