Digital Library of Mathematical Functions
May 13, 2010 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Since its first printing in 1964, Abramowitz and Stegun's Handbook of Mathematical Functions has been a standard (and public domain) reference manual for special functions and applied mathematics. This week, NIST released its successor, the Digital Library of Mathematical Functions, online to the public.
posted by Upton O'Good (29 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome. Abromowitz and Stegun has been a handy reference for me for years.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 1:34 PM on May 13, 2010


Hell yeah!
posted by lukemeister at 1:36 PM on May 13, 2010


awesome!

(I wish most of these were implemented in hardware)
posted by oonh at 1:40 PM on May 13, 2010


Mathematicians are terrible graphic designers.
posted by delmoi at 1:41 PM on May 13, 2010


Graphic designers are worse mathematicians.
posted by kmz at 1:46 PM on May 13, 2010 [21 favorites]


oh snap
posted by chinston at 1:48 PM on May 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is wonderful!

And some of it would have been very helpful before having taken yesterday's linear algebra final.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:49 PM on May 13, 2010


Why do math?
posted by aniola at 1:55 PM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Awesome!! I was about to buy a copy of the Handbook - I had no idea it was free online! I owe you $30 Upton [redeemable only as MeFi favorites].
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:05 PM on May 13, 2010


aniola: Do you know why the logo on that page has the Republican elephant in it?
posted by idiopath at 2:05 PM on May 13, 2010


Holy Sweet Monkey Jesus!

This is fantastic! Goddam.
posted by bonehead at 2:08 PM on May 13, 2010


aniola: Do you know why the logo on that page has the Republican elephant in it?

I think it's supposed to be an example of what could happen to you if you don't learn basic math. Hur hur hur /cheapshot
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:15 PM on May 13, 2010


I almost posted this myself, but couldn't think of a reason to differentiate it from MathWorld. (Which isn't to say I don't love this post.)
posted by DU at 2:31 PM on May 13, 2010


aniola: Do you know why the logo on that page has the Republican elephant in it?

All politics is locally differentiable.
posted by DU at 2:33 PM on May 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


According to Google scholar, A&S has 45543 citations. That's gotta be some kind of record. Of course, that's what it's for. You're writing an article and you take some equation as a given, thinking to yourself "Everybody knows this... no point in finding a reference." That's when you stop, reconsider, and open up A&S.
posted by rlk at 3:03 PM on May 13, 2010


From the description, I though it was going to be a source code library. Damn.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:14 PM on May 13, 2010


ZenMasterThis, it's the source of many libraries. A metasource if you will.
posted by bonehead at 3:33 PM on May 13, 2010


Awesome!! I was about to buy a copy of the Handbook - I had no idea it was free online!

Buy one anyway - the Dover edition is dirt cheap and has many uses the on-line library doesn't cover, such as self-defence or emergency heat production.
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:50 PM on May 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


DU, I kind of find MathWorld to be more idiosyncratic and biased towards "recreational" mathematics than A&S.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:13 PM on May 13, 2010


Idiosyncratic how?
posted by DU at 5:07 PM on May 13, 2010


As a nonmathematician, most of my enjoyment of this comes from the appearance of the page before the images representing the equations have finished loading, and reading
With _____ the spheroidal wave functions ______ are solutions of _____ which are bounded on _____ or equivalently _____ which are of the form _____ where is an entire function of _____ . These solutions exist only for eigenvalues _____ of the parameter _____.
which in honesty approximates my level of comprehension even after the equations have shown up.

Even so: awesome.
posted by ook at 5:11 PM on May 13, 2010


The problem with this:

Now I want to pull out my trusty Number Theory IV1 and try to learn from it (third time's the charm) instead of reading about law, as is my actual job. Thanks a lot, jerkwad.

No, seriously, thanks a lot, this is a fantastic resource.

1. In math, as in life, the simpler the name, the more important the object.

posted by Lemurrhea at 6:11 PM on May 13, 2010


Reminds me of the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, which has graphs and even music to go along with the sequences.
posted by movicont at 6:55 PM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


1. In math, as in life, the simpler the name, the more important the object.

Spotted in the bookstore last month: a woman asking the clerk for a book on "algebra" for her son who was doing his GCSEs (so he was 15-16) and getting handed a 900 page Dover book, Introduction to Abstract Algebra. My sense of civic duty overcame my math lulz impulse and I intervened.

Maybe for his A-levels she can buy him Spivak's Calculus.
posted by atrazine at 11:21 PM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heh. yes, I've confused many when talking about how difficult I found Algebra II. Slightly different things when you're talking about Abstract Algebra instead of high school Algebra.

Another fun "simple" subject: I've seen advanced combinatorics texts where the chapters were all labeled something like: "Counting", "Advanced Counting", etc.
posted by kmz at 9:44 AM on May 14, 2010


I showed my "Elementary Differential Geometry" book (which a mefite sent me, btw, thanks again!) to my mathy 11 year old. He paged through it for a minute and then said "They seriously expect us to believe this is for elementary school?"
posted by DU at 9:57 AM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


idiopath: Nope, didn't notice the Republican elephant. It's a website put together by SIAM, and they do applied maths for the U.S. military. I had just been saving this link for a math post, 'cause I think math is neat and they do, too, and there's other things one can do with it than what they use it for (as shown in that "why do math" website). Hope it wasn't too much of a tangent....
posted by aniola at 2:05 PM on May 14, 2010


I've seen advanced combinatorics texts where the chapters were all labeled something like: "Counting", "Advanced Counting", etc.

<SAM KINISON VOICE>Oh, they're cruel! Cruel! Oh—Oooooohhh!</SAM KINISON VOICE>
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:39 PM on May 14, 2010


kmz: the third time I took Algebra II (second semester of grad school), my dad was endlessly amused by it.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:30 PM on May 14, 2010


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