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This is a list compiled based on suggestions written here (in order of how many votes the suggestions received): What questions should we ask people running for the moderator election, to answer in the questionnaire?

  1. Would you downvote/close posts of extremely low quality by SE standards, when it's not spam or in violation of the CoC, or would you use comments to give the user a chance to improve the post themselves first?
  2. What is your background in Matter Modeling?
  3. How much time per day do you have available to dedicate to this site?
  4. Would you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, don't make a post look bad, and are not seen as a back-and-forth discussion between only 2 or 3 people leading to a big "wall-of-text"? When you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, how much time would you give the authors (after warning them) to save their comments or delete them by themselves?
  5. What is the longest time you would see yourself taking, to respond to a message from a 7-day suspended user, or for a fairly serious flag on a hot and highly popular question?
  6. As a moderator, would you tend to make your own decisions, or do you prefer to go with what the community wants? For example, would you delete a question that does not violate the CoC, without waiting for the community to vote for its deletion? As a moderator, how would you treat questions where there is a borderline consensus on whether it is on-topic or not? What would be your threshold for mod-hammering it closed?
  7. In your mind, what is the role of a moderator?
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Thomas


  1. Would you downvote/close posts of extremely low quality by SE standards, when it's not spam or in violation of the CoC, or would you use comments to give the user a chance to improve the post themselves first?

I believe that this community can flourish only if we generate good questions and great answers. However I don't think that a poorly written question/answer is necessarily of low quality. In our own site we have seen examples of very badly phrased questions becoming hot networking questions after some edits. Also even though a question is posted by an individual, the question belong to the community. This question which is one among most voted questions, was edited 14 times by the community for the better. So to answer the question, I will give the user and the community a chance to improve the post.

  1. What is your background in Matter Modeling?

I am working as Assistant Professor in Physics in a college affiliated to the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India. My research interest is on density functional theory studies of low dimensional materials. I was part of CMS collaboration, CERN for a brief period and have research experience in the field of High Energy Physics also. I teach Quantum Mechanics and Condensed Matter Physics at the Master's level.

  1. How much time per day do you have available to dedicate to this site?

About an hour. Also since my time zone is GMT+5.30, which is complementary to other candidates, we can make sure that one or the other moderator will always be available.

  1. Would you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, don't make a post look bad, and are not seen as a back-and-forth discussion between only 2 or 3 people leading to a big "wall-of-text"? When you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, how much time would you give the authors (after warning them) to save their comments or delete them by themselves?

If the comments are 1) not in violation of CoC, 2) don't make a post look bad and 3) not a two people chat, I can't think (as of now) of a situation that the comments should be deleted. However moderators are human exception handlers. If a situation arises I think 48 hours should be sufficient after giving a notification. .

  1. What is the longest time you would see yourself taking, to respond to a message from a 7-day suspended user, or for a fairly serious flag on a hot and highly popular question?

24 hours

  1. As a moderator, would you tend to make your own decisions, or do you prefer to go with what the community wants? For example, would you delete a question that does not violate the CoC, without waiting for the community to vote for its deletion? As a moderator, how would you treat questions where there is a borderline consensus on whether it is on-topic or not? What would be your threshold for mod-hammering it closed?

Always community first. As I see it, the philosophy of Ubuntu should guide us, I am because we are.

  1. In your mind, what is the role of a moderator?

I believe that moderators are human exception handlers. They make sure that nothing ill happen to the community due to some unforeseen circumstances. They take care of flagged posts and make sure that CoC violations are acted upon. For most part, they are basically the janitors. They guide the community with gentle but firm interventions when deemed necessary

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1. Would you downvote/close posts of extremely low quality by SE standards, when it's not spam or in violation of the CoC, or would you use comments to give the user a chance to improve the post themselves first?

There is no such thing as a bad question. However, questions may be out of scope or just poorly communicated. If it is the latter, as a moderator one should work with the OP to improve the clarity and quality of the question. Downvoting as a first response could have a negative chain-reaction and result in scaring the OP away from our community. It is especially important to guide and provide constructive feedback to new users. This can and should be done with comments, and the objective is always to be constructive and supportive.

2. What is your background in Matter Modeling?

I will begin my PhD in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry at UC San Diego this fall. There, I will spend my deriving models and developing computational frameworks to push the limits of computer simulations of matter, in the gas and condensed phases. I will be working on the development of Many-body MD models, Quantum Dyanamical simulations, and the application of Electronic Structure methods such as DFT to model complex materials such as hybrid (org/inorg) perovskites, MOFs, Quantum materials, etc. The latter is the area in which I have been trained, as I have experience from UNAM with Tight-Binding models and periodic DFT modeling of bulk and 2D-materials. My experience with Tight-Binding and effective Hamiltonian approaches is mathematical derivation and numerical programming to model band structures. As far as DFT, I have experience with both all-electron and pseudopotential techniques to study bulk and quantum materials. Examples of these are alkali-ion transition metal chalcogenides, and two-dimensional magnets. As far as technical skills or programming, I have experience with bash, python, GNUplot, Wolfram Mathematica and have somewhat knowledge of MPI and SLURM. No C++ yet, but that will change soon. As far as community involvement, I spent a great portion of my community service hours in college helping to organize department seminars and workshops at my university. Also, I have a little fun project I started called the "Computational Condensed Matter Club" (CCMC). At a very local level, I have focused on popularizing computational matter modeling among students, and online the CCMC serves as a news outlet in the fields. Field leaders follow and have endorsed us on twitter!

3.How much time per day do you have available to dedicate to this site?

I commit to dedicate between 2 and 4 hours a day to the site. Currently, I find myself at an interface in which I am finishing undergrad, working on my thesis, reviewing articles, getting involved with my lab for my PhD, training, and working in Tech Support for 40 hours a week. So… what I am saying with this is that I still average between 0.5 and 1.0 hr a day on our SE, but as I will now be funded to pursue my passions in theoretical chemistry, I will have more time (drop the 40 hr shift I have now!) on my hands to best serve our community.

4. Would you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, don't make a post look bad, and are not seen as a back-and-forth discussion between only 2 or 3 people leading to a big "wall-of-text"? When you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, how much time would you give the authors (after warning them) to save their comments or delete them by themselves?

The first approach in a situation described in the question is to contact the authors and work with them. Given that we are all busy folk here, I believe 36 hours should be sufficient before the moderator decides to take any action. That being said, the comments may be deleted if they no longer contribute to the improvement of the Q / A nor have a negative impact. Some short and sweet comments sometimes contribute to great answers, but long walls of text should be avoided at all times.

5. What is the longest time you would see yourself taking, to respond to a message from a 7-day suspended user, or for a fairly serious flag on a hot and highly popular question?

Eighteen hours (18 hr).

6.As a moderator, would you tend to make your own decisions, or do you prefer to go with what the community wants? For example, would you delete a question that does not violate the CoC, without waiting for the community to vote for its deletion? As a moderator, how would you treat questions where there is a borderline consensus on whether it is on-topic or not? What would be your threshold for mod-hammering it closed?

The scope of our site is broader than the expertise of any of it's individual members, and that is what makes it a great community. There is much to exchange and therefore, the community, it's reactions and it's desires should be taken into account at all times, at all cost. Leadership is required in critical moments, however even then leadership must manifest itself in benefit of the community.

7.In your mind, what is the role of a moderator?

A moderator is someone who serves the community and works to ensure that the values and mission of said community are met. This requires keeping a close eye on anomalies, analyzing adverse situations and preventing them from harming the community. A moderator will need to evaluate options and make decisions that will affect other members and therefore must be firm enough to make touch calls when needed. When violations of the Code of Conduct are detected it is the moderators who must step in and take whatever action be necessary. Additionally, a moderator is there to maintain the site and support its members. It is crucially important to keep in mind that we are all humans, and we must treat each-other with respect and dignity, when taking part in interventions. Empathy is a quality that we must show our members, i.e. from first-time users (and modelers!) to expert developers and users.

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    $\begingroup$ "Downvoting as a first response could have a negative chain-reaction and result in scaring the OP away from our community. It is especially important to guide and provide constructive feedback to new users. This can and should be done with comments, and the objective is always to be constructive and supportive." This is very beautifully written! And I agree. $\endgroup$ – Nike Dattani Jun 15 at 19:19
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TheSimpliFire

Q1. Would you downvote/close posts of extremely low quality by SE standards, when it's not spam or in violation of the CoC, or would you use comments to give the user a chance to improve the post themselves first?

A1. Absolutely the latter, as one reason is that their post could potentially lead to some interesting questions and it would not be in anyone's interest to discourage them first. After my comment, I would allow the user up to two days to correct their post.

Q2. What is your background in Matter Modeling?

A2. I am a beginner in matter modelling, no sugar-coating. My qualifications include a BSc in Mathematics, and an MSc in Statistics with Medical Applications (e.g. I learnt Monte Carlo methods there which has applications in matter modelling). I am midway through a part-time MSc in Mathematics which I have currently stopped to allow for my full-time PhD in Population Health Sciences. I can program in R and Mathematica well, and also Python to an extent.

Q3. How much time per day do you have available to dedicate to this site?

A3. I am available on this site for around 4 hours per day until September, where it will probably be around 2 hours from September as I will be starting my PhD in Population Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. My time zone is GMT+0.

Q4. Would you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, don't make a post look bad, and are not seen as a back-and-forth discussion between only 2 or 3 people leading to a big "wall-of-text"? When you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, how much time would you give the authors (after warning them) to save their comments or delete them by themselves?

A4. For the first question, no, in the worst case I would move the comments to a Materials.SE chatroom. This enables the discussion to continue elsewhere, as well as removing the big "wall-of-text" under a post, and I would then notify those contributing to the comments. For the second question, I would give them two days.

Q5. What is the longest time you would see yourself taking, to respond to a message from a 7-day suspended user, or for a fairly serious flag on a hot and highly popular question?

A5. 24 hours is the worst-case scenario, the majority of the time is 12 hours.

Q6. As a moderator, would you tend to make your own decisions, or do you prefer to go with what the community wants? For example, would you delete a question that does not violate the CoC, without waiting for the community to vote for its deletion? As a moderator, how would you treat questions where there is a borderline consensus on whether it is on-topic or not? What would be your threshold for mod-hammering it closed?

A6. For the first question, I would never do that. It would be much better to allow for community interaction first (such as through voting or commenting). For the second question, I would tend to keep such questions on-topic unless there is a very outstanding reason for it not to be as they can still provide knowledge. For the third question, if there is a borderline consensus it means half of the users want it the questions to stay, so instead of closing them, I would instead put a lock.

Q7. In your mind, what is the role of a moderator?

A7. The role of a moderator is to improve the site primarily through resolving flags, resolving disputes, ensuring that the behaviours of users meet the Code of Conduct in StackExchange, and to make the site appealing to both existing users and new users. Respectful communication is thus very important.

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Tyberius

  1. Would you downvote/close posts of extremely low quality by SE standards, when it's not spam or in violation of the CoC, or would you use comments to give the user a chance to improve the post themselves first?
  1. Generally no. Especially for new users, a comment is going to do a lot better job of getting the person to improve their post then an unexplained downvote/close-vote. It will also make them feel more welcomed on the site and not just having some nameless group or system shutting them down. On the other hand, for more experience users, I think a close vote could be appropriate, as they should understand better how the site works and hopefully won't need as much direct feedback to know what to improve about their question.
  1. What is your background in Matter Modeling?
  1. I'm a PhD student in computational chemistry. My work is mostly on the electronic structure side of things, mostly with Gaussian. Specifically, I do methods development with the goal of providing tools to better understand chiroptical phenomena and charge transfer processes. Outside my specific discipline, I have taken some courses in Molecular Dynamics/Statistical Mechanics and have a casual interest in how machine learning and chemical informatics.
  1. How much time per day do you have available to dedicate to this site?
  1. I tend to pop in periodically throughout the day to check if there are interesting questions or things to edit. As a moderator, I could make that less of a habit and more of a scheduled plan. I would say I definitely have sufficient time to address any site issues as they arise, in particular during the evening (Central time US).
  1. Would you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, don't make a post look bad, and are not seen as a back-and-forth discussion between only 2 or 3 people leading to a big "wall-of-text"? When you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, how much time would you give the authors (after warning them) to save their comments or delete them by themselves?
  1. Assuming all those conditions are met, I don't see why such comments would need to be deleted at all. If it is something that would be better as an edit to the post or its own answer/question, I would recommend that to the user (in the very long term if the poster disappears, I might convert their comment into a community wiki answer/question). In general, if no is getting hurt, I don't really see a reason to remove comments, beyond maybe directing them to chat if they get longwinded.
  1. What is the longest time you would see yourself taking, to respond to a message from a 7-day suspended user, or for a fairly serious flag on a hot and highly popular question?
  1. A few hours, maybe a day for something that isn't as time sensitive. For situations that don't need an immediate, definitive response, its usually worth taking the time to craft a response that will deescalate the situation.
  1. As a moderator, would you tend to make your own decisions, or do you prefer to go with what the community wants? For example, would you delete a question that does not violate the CoC, without waiting for the community to vote for its deletion? As a moderator, how would you treat questions where there is a borderline consensus on whether it is on-topic or not? What would be your threshold for mod-hammering it closed?
  1. I'm assuming this is mostly asking about the more authoritative actions like closing, deletions, and suspensions. The community consensus should really be the guiding force behind moderator decisions. Since a moderator close/deletion vote is unilateral, I would really only think to use it in cases that egregious violations of the rules or else clearly outside of community consensus with no clear path to fixing the question/answer. If the community hasn't formed a consensus, I'm certainly not going to try to force my view as the decision. If there is no consensus, I would let things play out in the review queues and maybe start a discussion on meta if things start getting contentious.
  1. In your mind, what is the role of a moderator?
  1. Similar to my what I said in my nomination, I think a moderators job is to keep the site running smoothly and to help steer it towards how the community wants it to be. A lot of the job is just day to day upkeep (e.g. removing spam, putting appropriate tags on posts, getting new users started). For the bigger issues or projects that come along, its mainly a matter of seeing what the community wants and doing what's in my power to make it happen.
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Adam Iaizzi

  1. Would you downvote/close posts of extremely low quality by SE standards, when it's not spam or in violation of the CoC, or would you use comments to give the user a chance to improve the post themselves first?

Answer: This depends on the situation but I think we should be forgiving. The point of this community is to help people, and sometimes new users will be unfamiliar with our standards, and I don't want to push them away. It's more useful to the community to help them improve their question so they can learn for the next time they have a question.

  1. What is your background in Matter Modeling?

Answer: I have a PhD in computational condensed matter physics and I am currently working as a postdoc. My specialty is classical and quantum Monte Carlo methods, focusing on models of spin systems such as the Ising or Heisenberg models. I am an experienced programmer in Fortran and C++. I'm a big believer in computational methods and in writing pedagogical guides for their use. My dissertation has a detailed, 70+ page methods section and I am currently writing a paper on a variation on quantum Monte Carlo that has not been described well in the literature.

  1. How much time per day do you have available to dedicate to this site?

Answer: I'm sure all of the candidates are busy people, but I believe I had averaged about 30-60 minutes on the site every day while it's been in beta. If I have new moderating responsibilities I will make sure to check in regularly. I currently live in Taiwan, which means I can be online to work as a moderator when the other mods are likely to be sleeping.

  1. Would you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, don't make a post look bad, and are not seen as a back-and-forth discussion between only 2 or 3 people leading to a big "wall-of-text"? When you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, how much time would you give the authors (after warning them) to save their comments or delete them by themselves?

Answer: I don't totally understand this question. Inappropriate comments or clear violations of rules (harassment, hate speech, etc) need to be removed quickly, but for marginal cases or comments that are merely not helpful, I think moderators can allow more time for users to correct their comments and also hopefully learn from their experience so their comments are more constructive in the future. I think 48 hours would be appropriate.

  1. What is the longest time you would see yourself taking, to respond to a message from a 7-day suspended user, or for a fairly serious flag on a hot and highly popular question?

Answer: I'm not totally sure how moderators are notified of such things on stackexchange, but depending on the time of day, I can respond to urgent matters within 24 hours in most cases.

  1. As a moderator, would you tend to make your own decisions, or do you prefer to go with what the community wants? For example, would you delete a question that does not violate the CoC, without waiting for the community to vote for its deletion? As a moderator, how would you treat questions where there is a borderline consensus on whether it is on-topic or not? What would be your threshold for mod-hammering it closed?

Answer: For borderline cases I believe it's important to follow the will of the community, especially when there is no urgent reason to close or take down a question, etc. Materials Modeling is a broad field, so I think we can afford to be generous with what is considered "on topic."

  1. In your mind, what is the role of a moderator?

Answer: In my mind, a moderator's job is to help maintain a friendly, welcoming community where users can reliably turn to get reliable advice. This means enforcing rules in a fair and consistent manner and helping users learn the standards of our community so they can participate successfully. To be a success, this community will need a large user base with a wide range of experience, and the best way to ensure that is making the Materials Modeling Stack Exchange a welcoming and helpful environment that many people feel comfortable participating in.

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  1. No. I think that talking to the user, directly or via comments, is a better approach.
  2. I have a Master degree in Science. The theme of my master thesis was in the area of semiconductor physics, specifically, about theoretical simulation of the efficiency and thermal behavior of multiquantum well semiconductor laser. My PhD degree is in Physics, in the Condensed Matter area. The subject of the thesis was the theoretical study of a saser, a semiconductor phonon laser. My first pos-doc was dedicated to study/simulate the interaction of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) tip with difherent surfaces. The second pos-doc had as subject the experimental and theoretical characterization of semiconductor heterostructures under magnetic fields. The third pos-doc was dedicated to DFT simulations of solar cell materials. Actually I have as research lines the computational simulations of the electronic, transport and thermal properties of nanostructures and crystal in conjunction with rational drug design. I already tested software like GAUSSIAN, GAMESS-US, ABINIT, QUANTUM-ESPRESSO, SIESTA, MOPAC, and suites like MATERIAL STUDIO and SCHRODINGER.
  3. At least one hour a day.
  4. Firs question: No. Second question: It depends on how the conversation with the authors goes.
  5. My idea is to take care of any issue like that as soon as possible in order to get the site running without any problems.
  6. This is a very important question. Each of us have a different idea about how the things work or should work. With this site is not different. I would like to have a very strong bound with the other moderators in order to take care, together, of any issues/problems. I think that in this way the site will have a more democratic face.
  7. I think that the first thing is to look for any violations of the CoC. Then, promote the user interaction in discussion related to the forum subject and review the content posted to maintain the site quality.
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