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Category# Numerical analysis

Summary

Numerical analysis is the study of algorithms that use numerical approximation (as opposed to symbolic manipulations) for the problems of mathematical analysis (as distinguished from discrete mathematics). It is the study of numerical methods that attempt at finding approximate solutions of problems rather than the exact ones. Numerical analysis finds application in all fields of engineering and the physical sciences, and in the 21st century also the life and social sciences, medicine, business and even the arts. Current growth in computing power has enabled the use of more complex numerical analysis, providing detailed and realistic mathematical models in science and engineering. Examples of numerical analysis include: ordinary differential equations as found in celestial mechanics (predicting the motions of planets, stars and galaxies), numerical linear algebra in data analysis, and stochastic differential equations and Markov chains for simulating living cells in medicine and biology.
Before modern computers, numerical methods often relied on hand interpolation formulas, using data from large printed tables. Since the mid 20th century, computers calculate the required functions instead, but many of the same formulas continue to be used in software algorithms.
The numerical point of view goes back to the earliest mathematical writings. A tablet from the Yale Babylonian Collection (YBC 7289), gives a sexagesimal numerical approximation of the square root of 2, the length of the diagonal in a unit square.
Numerical analysis continues this long tradition: rather than giving exact symbolic answers translated into digits and applicable only to real-world measurements, approximate solutions within specified error bounds are used.
The overall goal of the field of numerical analysis is the design and analysis of techniques to give approximate but accurate solutions to hard problems, the variety of which is suggested by the following:
Advanced numerical methods are essential in making numerical weather prediction feasible.

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Legendre polynomials

In mathematics, Legendre polynomials, named after Adrien-Marie Legendre (1782), are a system of complete and orthogonal polynomials with a vast number of mathematical properties and numerous applications. They can be defined in many ways, and the various definitions highlight different aspects as well as suggest generalizations and connections to different mathematical structures and physical and numerical applications. Closely related to the Legendre polynomials are associated Legendre polynomials, Legendre functions, Legendre functions of the second kind, and associated Legendre functions.

Computational mathematics

Computational mathematics is an area of mathematics devoted to the interaction between mathematics and computer computation. A large part of computational mathematics consists roughly of using mathematics for allowing and improving computer computation in areas of science and engineering where mathematics are useful. This involves in particular algorithm design, computational complexity, numerical methods and computer algebra. Computational mathematics refers also to the use of computers for mathematics itself.

Associated Legendre polynomials

In mathematics, the associated Legendre polynomials are the canonical solutions of the general Legendre equation or equivalently where the indices l and m (which are integers) are referred to as the degree and order of the associated Legendre polynomial respectively. This equation has nonzero solutions that are nonsingular on only if l and m are integers with 0 ≤ m ≤ l, or with trivially equivalent negative values. When in addition m is even, the function is a polynomial.

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Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning linear equations such as: linear maps such as: and their representations in vector spaces and through matrices. Linear algebra is central to almost all areas of mathematics. For instance, linear algebra is fundamental in modern presentations of geometry, including for defining basic objects such as lines, planes and rotations. Also, functional analysis, a branch of mathematical analysis, may be viewed as the application of linear algebra to spaces of functions.

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Complex analysis, traditionally known as the theory of functions of a complex variable, is the branch of mathematical analysis that investigates functions of complex numbers. It is helpful in many branches of mathematics, including algebraic geometry, number theory, analytic combinatorics, applied mathematics; as well as in physics, including the branches of hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and twistor theory. By extension, use of complex analysis also has applications in engineering fields such as nuclear, aerospace, mechanical and electrical engineering.

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