ITLApplied  Computational Mathematics Division
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Prototype of Math Digital Library Released

January 1999


An early prototype of the NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (DLMF) has been released for public inspection and comment. The DLMF is designed to be a complete and authoritative online reference on the definition and properties of mathematical functions which occur in applications. Examples include Bessel functions, hypergeometric functions and various classes of orthogonal polynomials. The DLMF, which will be freely available via the World Wide Web, will contain more than 30 "chapters", each centered on a class of functions, authored by recognized authorities. The emphasis is on information that is useful in applications, as well as on methods of computation. The online reference work will contain many complex mathematical formulas which can be downloaded into word processors and symbolic computing systems, graphics which can be manipulated by users, as well as tables of relevant numerical quantities, some of which will be computed on demand. Math-enabled search facilities will guide users to relevant information, including pointers to software which compute various functions.

The DLMF is inspired by the NBS Handbook of Mathematical Functions (AMS 55, M. Abramowitz and I. Stegun, NBS, 1964) which has sold more than 100,000 copies and remains popular today. The DLMF is expected to contain more than twice as much technical information as AMS 55, reflecting the continuing advances of the intervening 40 years, while eliminating most of the numerical tables as unnecessary for today's needs.

The DLMF is being developed by a team of researchers in ITL and PL led by Daniel Lozier, Frank Olver, Charles Clark and Ron Boisvert, with support from MEL's Systems Integration for Manufacturing Applications (SIMA) program and the NIST Standard Reference Data Program. The newly released prototype, at, is designed to show the scope of the planned project. It contains a sample chapter on Airy functions authored by F. Olver, and a sample chapter on applications authored by C. Clark and D. Penn. These are designed to be used as models for other authors. Pending external funding for the remaining chapter authors the DLMF is planned to be completed in 2002.

(bullet) Daniel W. Lozier (NIST/MCSD/MSG)
(bullet) Charles Clark ()
See also:
(bullet) DLMF Home Page

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Last updated: 2011-01-12.