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Friday, August 17, 2012

A&S for the 21st century

Sweet, I just discovered that the old classic 1000-page mathematical reference Abramowitz and Stegun has been updated and distributed for the new millennium (well, and century too) in a more modern way.  It's all there free on its own NIST website (the National Institute of Standards and Technology were the ones who published A&S in the first place back in the 1960s).  Here it is right here:

It was released just two years ago, with both a book version and this online version, which as far as I can tell is a superset of the book.  Here are the three coolest practical aspects of the website version:
  1. next to each equation there's a permalink so you can reference a link straight back to the original section of the equation reference
  2. and perhaps even better, also next to each equation there's a link to the TeX source for the equation, so you don't even have to rework it all up in TeX again yourself when using it.
  3. and even better than that! - ALSO in each section is a list of links to modern software references for finding software libraries & codes to compute the quantities discussed in each section.  (typically in Fortran; note for each code the link puts you at a bibliography entry for a relevant journal paper, but at the right of that ref there's another link that'll get you to the code and other related documents)

NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions

(Note the Riemann zeta function used in their cover plot - for these 3D plots you can even interactively go zip around in them via VRML and X3D)

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