ITL Hosts Workshop on Digital Library of Mathematical Functions
September 1997
ITL's Mathematical and Computational Sciences Division hosted an invitational
workshop in Gaithersburg July 2831, 1997, to develop plans for the NIST
Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (DLMF). The DLMF is envisioned
as a modern replacement for the NBS Handbook of Mathematical Functions,
which was first issued in 1964. More than 150,000 copies of the handbook
have been sold by the Government Printing Office and several commercial
publishers (it remains available today from there sources).
The handbook contains technical information, such as formulas, graphs,
and tables, on a variety of mathematical functions of widespread uses in
the sciences and engineering. The new DLMF would revise and expand this
core data and make use of advanced communications and computational resources
to disseminate the information in ways using static print media. Examples
include formulas downloadable into symbolic systems, dynamic graphics,
reference algorithms and software, tables generated on demand, and application
modules tailored to specific domains such as quantum physics.
Workshop participants included a number of wellknown experts in special
functions and their application such as Richard Askey (Univ. Wisc.), Ross
Barnett (Univ Manchester), Claude Brezinski (Univ. Lille), Bill Carlson
(Iowa State), Walter Gautschi (Purdue Univ.), Kurt Kolbig (CERN), Leonard
Maixmon (GWU), Ingram Olkin (Stanford), Frank Olver (Univ. MD and NIST),
and Nico Temme (CWI, Amsterdam). The workshop, organized by Daniel Lozier
and Frank Olver, was cosponsored by the Physics Laboratory, the Standard
Reference Data Program, and MEL's Systems for Integrated Manufacturing
Applications (SIMA) Program.
