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Adam Danz
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National volunteer week: Standing on the shoulders of giants

Adam Danz on 21 Apr 2020 (Edited on 21 Apr 2020)
Latest activity Edit by Adam Danz on 21 Apr 2020

This week is National Volunteer Week in the USA and Canada and to celebrate, I’d like to pay tribute to the volunteers in the Matlab Central Answers forum who have given countless hours to help total strangers make progress in their education, careers, and hobbies.

As of April 20, 2020, there have been 375,869 [1,2] questions asked by 183,968 [3] contributors dating back to the earliest existing question on January 4, 2011.

41,890 volunteers have contributed at least one answer leading up to 68% of the questions answered.

There is no contribution too small for earning well-deserved recognition and appreciation. A single answer or comment may benefit countless individuals who finally find the ideal solution to a problem that kept them up at night.

A number of volunteers in the forum have contributed far and beyond the imaginable and have shared so much of their time and expertise that it’s difficult to fathom. The bar graph below shows the top 10 volunteers in the forum by the number of answers provided. It’s hard to believe that Walter Roberson , a single individual ( we think ), has contributed a portion of answers equal to more than 18% of answered questions in the forum [4]. The top two volunteers, adding Image Analyst , contributed enough answers to equal almost 30% of the answered questions. These folks along with many others not listed in the bar graph who can be found on the contributors page are the foundation of so many Matlab users’ success including my own from June 2014, when I asked my first question.

Whether you’ve come to the forum to look for an answer or to write an answer, you’re undoubtedly standing on the shoulders of giants.


  1. Based on the number of answered and unanswered questions listed in the ‘Status’ table in recently added questions .
  2. Questions and answers posted by the MathWorks Support Team are not included in the data presented here, though much appreciated.
  3. The number of people who provided an answer is based on sorting the contributors page by ‘answers given’ in descending order.
  4. Since a contributor can write more than one answer to a question, we can’t easily measure the number of questions answered by a contributor.

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