AWM-MAA Etta Falconer Lecture 2020-2021
Lecturer: Bonita V. Saunders, National Institute of Standards and Technology
In 2010, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) launched the Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (DLMF), a free online compendium of definitions, recurrence relations, differential equations, and other crucial information about mathematical functions useful to researchers working in application areas in the mathematical and physical sciences. Although the DLMF replaces the widely cited National Bureau of Standards (NBS) Handbook of Mathematical Functions commonly known as Abramowitz and Stegun (A&S), it is far beyond a book on the web, incorporating web tools and technologies for accessing, rendering, and searching math and graphics content. I will discuss some interesting historical tidbits, but then focus on past and present technical research challenges being tackled to develop the DLMF’s graphics content. The DLMF currently contains more than 600 2D and 3D figures, and over 200 interactive 3D web visualizations of high level mathematical function surfaces that users can explore.