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NIST Releases Updated Handbook of Math Functions 128

Posted by kdawson
from the essential-reference dept.
An anonymous reader writes "NIST announced the publishing of the NIST Handbook of Mathematical Functions reference text (967 pp), also available in digital form at the Digital Library of Mathematical Functions. Access it with a MathML-enabled browser (Firefox or IE+plugin) to view equations as scalable text rather than bitmaps; the 3-D graphs can also be viewed with a VRML plugin for local rotating / zooming." The original Handbook of Mathematical Functions was published 46 years ago; the revision has been in the works for a decade.
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NIST Releases Updated Handbook of Math Functions

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  • Re:42 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frequency Domain (601421) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:30AM (#32207028)

    That's all you need to know about maths.

    You must be from the US.

    USians wouldn't say "maths". Our knowledge of math is singular.

  • by richg74 (650636) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:34AM (#32207092) Homepage
    And I have found it to be invaluable reference. It's not a textbook; it assumes you basically know the math, but just need to check the details. One other feature, quite handy for programmers of quantitative applications: it has approximations for many functions (e.g., the cumulative normal density function), with notes on their accuracy and range of applicability.
  • Re:42 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:49AM (#32207280)
    One country doesn't get to claim the whole hemisphere, even if they would like to.
  • Re:42 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:51AM (#32207298)

    Who are these USians you speak of? Since people from the United States of America are called americans.

    As are people from Canada, Mexico, Belize, Brazil, and any other American country.

  • Re:42 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by insertwackynamehere (891357) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:09AM (#32207468) Journal
    Slashdot: Where pedantic contrarions get modded insightful.
  • Re:42 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Crayon Kid (700279) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:16AM (#32207590)

    As are people from Canada, Mexico, Belize, Brazil, and any other American country.

    Umm no. If you mean a continental context you would say "North American" or "South American".

    If you mean citizen of a country you use the appropriate Demonym [wikipedia.org]: Canadian, Mexican, Belizean, Brazilian etc.

    US citizens are the only ones called Americans. Citizens of other countries are not.

  • Re:42 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CraftyJack (1031736) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:28AM (#32207736)
    Does that mean we get to call our neighbors to the north "Americans"? They usually don't like that, you know.
  • Re:42 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ooshna (1654125) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:52AM (#32208002)
    USians are all the really smart asians we have here and claim as our own to help negate the fact that our school system is in the shitter. "Ok we need to take a "random" sample of our standardized tests. Wong ok, Chan good, Jackson we better put that at the bottom of the pile".
  • Re:42 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icensnow (932196) on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:03PM (#32208976)
    Sigh. The full, legal, proper name of my country is "United States of America," it is the only country with "America" in its name, and we refer to its people as "Americans" by the same construction that we (in English) refer to people from the Federal Republic of Germany as Germans or the Peoples Republic of China as Chinese. This might be one of the oldest stupid arguments on the internet -- it certainly was common on Usenet > 20 years ago.
  • Re:Useless. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:40PM (#32209668) Homepage Journal

    Yes, you can derive all of mathematics from a fairly small set of axioms every time you want to do something. The point of having a reference handy is that you don't have to. You see, in the modern world we have this thing called a "body of knowledge," the idea being that smart people can do new work which builds on the previous work of other smart people. It's been quite a successful approach so far; perhaps you should give it a try?

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:45PM (#32209782) Homepage

    As far as WP implementing it ... does the current software work and fill the needs that need to be filled? If so perhaps they simply did the intelligent thing and didn't try to fix what was working fine.

    The current software renders equations as bitmaps. The bitmaps look lousy. They're less legible than mathml. They look awful when you print them. They're the wrong size compared to the text. People who are visually impaired can use the controls in their browser to enlarge the font in the web page, but that won't enlarge the equations. People who are blind can use text-to-speech on the web page, but it won't read the equations out loud.

    I hope you're not saying that it's okay for Microsoft to make math on the web inaccessible to blind people. It's totally messed up that Microsoft can hold back progress in putting math on the web for a decade or more, just because they have the most popular browser and don't feel like implementing the standard in a standard way.

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