Special functions, orthogonal polynomials, harmonic analysis, ODE's, differential relations, calculus of variations, approximations, expansions, asymptotics.

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45
votes
2answers
14k views

Is the analysis as taught in universities in fact the analysis of definable numbers?

Ten years ago when I studied in the university I had no idea about definable numbers, but I came to this concept myself. My thoughts were as follows: All numbers are divided into two classes: those ...
65
votes
9answers
14k views

How to solve f(f(x)) = cos(x) ?

I found the following interesting equation on some web page I cannot remember: $f(f(x))=\cos(x)$ Out of curiosity I tried to solve it, but realized that I do not have a clue how to approach such an ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Beginners text on Calculus of Variations

I want to begin learning Calculus of Variations. What texts would MathOverflow recommend? Amazon shows up quite a few options: http://tinyurl.com/36koaq4 I work on Machine Learning, and that where ...
8
votes
1answer
454 views

Solution of linear ODE

Let $A=A(t)$ be a smooth one parameter family of $n\times n$-matrices, $n\ge 2$. It seems that the solution of linear ODE $$\dot x= Ax$$ can not be written in a closed form using $\int$, $A$, $x(0)$ ...
54
votes
15answers
7k views

What's a nice argument that shows the volume of the unit ball in $\mathbb R^n$ approaches 0?

Before you close for "homework problem", please note the tags. Last week, I gave my calculus 1 class the assignment to calculate the $n$-volume of the $n$-ball. They had finished up talking about ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

formal power series convergence

I have spent some time using gp-pari. There is, of course, a formal power series solution to $ f(f(x)) = \sin x.$ It is displayed, below, identified by the symbol $g$ because I am not entirely sure ...
8
votes
0answers
415 views

Multiple Integral (American Mathematical Monthly problem 11621 and its generalization)

AMM problem 11621 asks to calculate the integral $$I_2=\int\limits_{-\infty}^{\infty}ds_1\int\limits_{-\infty}^{s_1}ds_2 \int\limits_{-\infty}^{s_2}ds_3\int\limits_{-\infty}^{s_3}ds_4 ...
109
votes
16answers
15k views

How do I make the conceptual transition from multivariable calculus to differential forms?

One way to define the algebra of differential forms $\Omega(M)$ on a smooth manifold $M$ (as explained by John Baez's week287) is as the exterior algebra of the dual of the module of derivations on ...
66
votes
4answers
11k views

Does the inverse function theorem hold for everywhere differentiable maps?

(This question was posed to me by a colleague; I was unable to answer it, so am posing it here instead.) Let $f: {\bf R}^n \to {\bf R}^n$ be an everywhere differentiable map, and suppose that at each ...
89
votes
5answers
7k views

Source and context of $\frac{22}{7} - \pi = \int_0^1 (x-x^2)^4 dx/(1+x^2)$?

Possibly the most striking proof of Archimedes's inequality $\pi < 22/7$ is an integral formula for the difference: $$ \frac{22}{7} - \pi = \int_0^1 (x-x^2)^4 \frac{dx}{1+x^2}, $$ where the ...
12
votes
19answers
20k views

Text for an introductory Real Analysis course.

Any suggestions on a good text to use for teaching an introductory Real Analysis course? Specifically what have you found to be useful about the approach taken in specific texts?
14
votes
5answers
9k views

Criteria to determine whether a real-coefficient polynomial has real root?

Given a polynomial equation $x^n+a_{n-1}x^{n-1}+\cdots+a_1x+a_0=0$, where $n$ is even and all the coefficients $a_i$ are real, what is the best way to determine whether it has a real root or not? I ...
14
votes
8answers
8k views

Does the exponential function have a square root?

(asked by Nathaniel Hellerstein on the Q&A board at JMM) Is there a "half-exponential" function h(x) such that h(h(x))=ex? Is it unique? Is it analytic? Related question: Is there an invertible ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Existence/Uniqueness of solutions to quasi-Lipschitz ODEs

Would the Picard–Lindelöf theorem still be true if the requirement that f be Lipschitz continuous in y was replaced with the requirement that f be almost Lipschitz in y? If not, are there any moduli ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Is $\varliminf_{n \rightarrow +\infty} |n \sin n| = 0$ correct, where $n$ is an integer?

Is it true that $\varliminf_{n \rightarrow +\infty} |n \sin n| = 0$, where $n$ runs over the integers? The existence of the limes inferior follows from Dirichlet's approximation theorem, but the ...
14
votes
3answers
931 views

Poincare lemma for non-smooth differentiable forms

The Poincare lemma is almost always formulated for differential forms with smooth coefficients (or sometimes for currents that have distributional coefficients). I would like to have it for ...
9
votes
1answer
902 views

Has anyone seen this series?

I come across the following infinite series. $$ \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{t^n}{n!\: n^{a}}, \quad\text{for $t>0$ and $a>0$}. $$ In particular, I am interested in the case where $a=1/4$. ...
4
votes
1answer
571 views

Why are all these families of polynomials finally log-concave?

This started when I was examining certain families of unimodal polynomials, i.e. $\sum_{k=0}^n a_kx^k$ where $a_0\le a_1\le\cdots \le a_k\ge\cdots \ge a_n$. (Notation: in the following, the $a_k$ ...
1
vote
2answers
531 views

Convergence of Newton series for sin ax

Let's define half discrete-analytic function as a function whose Newton series converges to that function for each $x>0$: $$f(x)=\sum_{k=0}^\infty \binom{x}k \Delta^k f\left ...
1
vote
1answer
300 views

Symmetry on a sphere

Let $u$ be a smooth function on the sphere $S^2$. Suppose there exists $C>0$ such that for all $R \in SO(3)$, the area of every connected component of $\{x\in S^2: u(x)> u(Rx)\}$ is at least ...
1
vote
1answer
434 views

New differintegral formula: how is it related to other differintegral formulas?

Lets define new differintegral formula as $$\mathbb{D}^s_xf(x)= \sum_{m=0}^{\infty} \binom {s}m \sum_{k=0}^m\binom mk(-1)^{m-k}f^{(k)}(x)$$ or, equivalently, $$\mathbb{D}^s_xf(x)= \lim_{t\to s} ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Examples of Bivariate Analytic, Globally Continuous Functions, whose Set of Zeros are Boundaries of Polygons

Are there any known examples of analytic, globally continuous functions $f(x,y): (x,y)\in\mathbb{R}\times\mathbb{R}\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ such that $$f(x,y)\lt 0\Leftrightarrow ...
90
votes
25answers
27k views

What is convolution intuitively?

If random variable $X$ has a probability distribution of $f(x)$ and random variable $Y$ has a probability distribution $g(x)$ then $(f*g)(x)$, the convolution of $f$ and $g$, is the probability ...
80
votes
17answers
17k views

Why is differentiating mechanics and integration art?

It is often said that "Differentiation is mechanics, integration is art." We have more or less simple rules in one direction but not in the other (e.g. product rule/simple <-> integration by ...
60
votes
21answers
8k views

Probabilistic Proofs of Analytic Facts

What are some interesting examples of probabilistic reasoning to establish results that would traditionally be considered analysis? What I mean by "probabilistic reasoning" is that the approach should ...
39
votes
9answers
8k views

Why do functions in complex analysis behave so well? (as opposed to functions in real analysis)

Complex analytic functions show rigid behavior while real-valued smooth functions are flexible. Why is this the case?
64
votes
7answers
5k views

Is $ \sum\limits_{n=0}^\infty x^n / \sqrt{n!} $ positive?

Is $$ \sum_{n=0}^\infty {x^n \over \sqrt{n!}} > 0 $$ for all real $x$? (I think it is.) If so, how would one prove this? (To confirm: This is the power series for $e^x$, except with the ...
25
votes
11answers
21k views

Why is the gradient normal?

This is a somewhat long discussion so bear with me. There is a theorem that I have always been curious about from an intuitive standpoint. This is an issue that has been glossed over in most ...
29
votes
6answers
2k views

Taylor's theorem and the symmetric group

Anytime I see an $n!$ in some formula, my instinct is to look for the symmetric group on $n$ letters coming in somewhere. I have never done this seriously with the $n!$ in Taylor's theorem. Question: ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a category structure one can place on measure spaces so that category-theoretic products exist?

The usual category of measure spaces consists of objects $(X, \mathcal{B}_X, \mu_X)$, where $X$ is a space, $\mathcal{B}_X$ is a $\sigma$-algebra on $X$, and $\mu_X$ is a measure on $X$, and measure ...
38
votes
16answers
5k views

How helpful is non-standard analysis?

So, I can understand how non-standard analysis is better than standard analysis in that some proofs become simplified, and infinitesimals are somehow more intuitive to grasp than epsilon-delta ...
57
votes
1answer
4k views

A hard integral identity on MATH.SE

The following identity on MATH.SE $$\int_0^{1}\arctan\left(\frac{\mathrm{arctanh}\ x-\arctan{x}}{\pi+\mathrm{arctanh}\ x-\arctan{x}}\right)\frac{dx}{x}=\frac{\pi}{8}\log\frac{\pi^2}{8}$$ seems to be ...
30
votes
15answers
9k views

What is the Implicit Function Theorem good for?

What are some applications of the Implicit Function Theorem in calculus? The only applications I can think of are: the result that the solution space of a non-degenerate system of equations ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

Visualization of Riemann–Stieltjes Integrals

The Riemann–Stieltjes integral $\int_a^b f(x)\,dg(x)$ is a generalization of the Riemann integral. It is e.g. heavily used as a starting point for stochastic integration. The approximating ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Which differential equations allow for a variational formulation?

Many ODE's and PDE's arising in nature have a variational formulation. An example of what I mean is the following. Classical motions are solutions $q(t)$ to Lagrange's equation $$ ...
31
votes
4answers
2k views

Which functions of one variable are derivatives ?

This is motivated by this recent MO question. Is there a complete characterization of those functions $f:(a,b)\rightarrow\mathbb R$ that are pointwise derivative of some everywhere differentiable ...
16
votes
2answers
6k views

Irrationality of pi*e, pi^pi and e^(pi^2)

What is known about irrationality of $\pi e$, $\pi^\pi$ and $e^{\pi^2}$?
30
votes
7answers
2k views

How should an analytic number theorist look at Bessel functions?

(And a related question: Where should an analytic number theorist learn about Bessel functions?) Bessel functions occur quite frequently in analytic number theory. One example, Corollary 4.7 of ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Criteria for boundedness of power series

Consider a power series $\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} a_n x^n$ that is convergent for all real x, thus defining a function $f: \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$. Can one give necessary and sufficient criteria the ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Integral representation of higher order derivatives

I'm quite curious about the following phenomena, that still puzzle me although I have a proof, and I'd be really glad if someone may shred some light, showing an interpretation or a generalization. I ...
30
votes
2answers
2k views

Must the set of lines through the origin on which a nonconstant entire function is bounded be finite?

If an entire function is bounded for all $z \in \mathbb{C}$, than it's a constant by Liouville's theorem. Of course an entire function can be bounded on lines through the origin $z=r \exp(i \phi), ...
36
votes
2answers
3k views

Alternating sum of square roots of binomial coefficients

Let $$ c_n = \sum_{r=0}^n (-1)^r \sqrt{\binom{n}{r}}. $$ It is clear that $c_n = 0$ if $n$ is odd. Remarkably, it appears that despite the huge positive and negative contributions in the sum ...
34
votes
6answers
2k views

On an example of an eventually oscillating function

For $x\in(0,1)$, put $$f(x):=\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}x^{2^{n}}.$$ This function possesses interesting properties. It grows monotonically from $0$ up to certain point. Then it starts to oscillate ...
22
votes
2answers
957 views

Majorization and Schur Polynomials

Let me first define the majorization order (or dominance order) on partitions as $\lambda \succeq \mu$ iff $$\sum _{i=1}^{k}\lambda_i \geq \sum_{i=1}^{k}\mu_i$$ for all $1\le k\le l-1$ and ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Analogues of Luzin's theorem

If $X$ is a compact metric space and $\mu$ is a Borel probability measure on $X$, then the space $C(X)$ of continuous real-valued functions on $X$ is a closed nowhere dense subset of ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

What examples of distributions should I keep in mind?

I'm learning a bit about the theory of distributions. What examples of distributions will help me develop good intuition? Definitions: Let $U$ be an open subset of $\mathbb{R}^n$. Write ...
24
votes
0answers
1k views

$f\circ f=g$ revisited

This may be related to solving f(f(x))=g(x). Let $C(\mathbb{R})$ be the linear space of all continuous functions from reals to reals, and let $\mathcal{S}$ $:=$ { $g\in C(\mathbb{R})$ $;$ $\exists$ ...
19
votes
9answers
3k views

Function with range equal to whole reals on every open set

There is an example of a function that is unbounded on every open set. Just take $f(n/m) = m$ for coprime $n$ and $m$ and $f(irrational) = 0$. I want to generalize this in a way to get a function ...
19
votes
0answers
1k views

Trigonometry related to Rogers--Ramanujan identities

For integers $n\ge2$ and $k\ge2$, fix the notation $$ [m]=\sin\frac{\pi m}{nk+1} \quad\text{and}\quad [m]!=[1][2]\dots[m], \qquad m\in\mathbb Z_{>0}. $$ Consider the following trigonometric ...
17
votes
0answers
2k views

Why do polytopes pop up in Lagrange inversion?

I'd be interested in hearing people's viewpoints on this. Looking for an intuitive perspective. See Wikipedia for descriptions of polytopes and the Lagrange inversion theorem/formula (LIF) for ...