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Leonhard Euler's Integral: An Historical Profile of the Gamma Function

by Philip J. Davis

Year of Award: 1963

Award: Chauvenet

Publication Information: The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 66 (1959), pp. 849-869

Summary: The author uses one mathematical object, the gamma function, to show how it grew in concept and in content from the time of Euler to the recent mathematical treatise of Bourbaki, and how, in this growth, it partook of the general development of mathematics over the past two and a quarter centuries.

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About the Author: (from The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 16, No. 1, (1985)) Philip J. Davis received his Ph.D. from Harvard under Ralph Boas.  He has taught at Harvard, Maryland, the University of Utah, and Brown. He was Chief, Numerical Analysis Section, National Bureau of Standards for five years. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1956-57. His extensive work in numerical analysis and applied mathematics includes the books Interpolation and Approximation (1963), Mathematics of Matrices (1964), Numerical Integration (with P. Rabinowitz, 1967), Circulant Matrices (1979), The Mathematical Experience, written jointly with Reuben Hersh of the University of New Mexico, won an American Book Award in 1983.  Professor Davis received the 1960 Award in Mathematics of the Washington Academy of Sciences, and the Lester R. Ford Award of the MAA in 1982.

Subject classification(s): Index
Publication Date: 
Friday, October 10, 2008