Feeds

Mighty hard-sums special function toolset goes online

Keys to the universe offered free by US gov

The next step in data security

US federal boffins are chuffed as ninepence to announce that they have transformed their "most widely cited publication of all time" - a huge handbook/toolkit of hard sums - into an online service.

The work in question is the mighty Handbook of Mathematical Functions from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), first issued in 1964. The original handbook sold more than a million copies, and it is still referenced by 1600 publications a year on average.

The book is basically a toolkit of mathematical special functions used by scientists, real hard-sums engineers (as opposed to MCSEs), statisticians and indeed anyone else who needs to apply the tremendous power of sums to do their work.

To accompany the latest paper edition of the Handbook, NIST is also offering a free Web toolset called the Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (DLMF), here.

According to NIST's announcement:

Special functions appear whenever natural phenomena are studied, engineering problems are formulated, and computer simulations are performed. They also crop up in statistics, financial models, and economic analysis.

The online DLMF, freely available on the Web, includes visual aids that provide qualitative information on the behavior of mathematical functions, such as interactive tools for rotating and zooming in on three-dimensional representations. These visualizations can be explored with free browsers and plugins for PC, Mac and Linux systems.

Confused about the symbols in an equation? Just click on the symbol to be led to its definition. The DLMF also provides references to or hints for the proofs of all mathematical statements, offers advice on methods for computing mathematical functions, and provides active links to available software and references. It also features a powerful search engine.

"This is a much more complete package for the user," says Dan Lozier of NIST, one of the project's editors. "We anticipate the DLMF to be a useful resource for everyone who has benefited from the 1964 publication, and expect that it will find new audiences among biologists, data security specialists, and every other branch of science that employs computer-based models."

For anyone who needs the power of maths but doesn't care for that there internet malarkey, the new edition of the Handbook will also appear as a hefty 967-page dead tree package (ISBN 9780521192255, from the Cambridge University Press). ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.