Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Review of "Tables of Indefinite Integrals," by G. Petit Bois

Review of
Tables of Indefinite Integrals, by G. Petit Bois 

Five out of five stars
 For people that have worked in mathematics for many years, this book was formerly a crutch and lifesaver, but now, technology has rendered it something that is antiquated. Indefinite integrals or antiderivatives are very complex, so when mathematicians used to encounter them, their first move was to consult a book like this one. Now, their first reaction is to consult their symbolic mathematics package.
 It contains 150 pages of indefinite integrals, from the simplest ones that all people learning calculus easily memorize and retain to some of the most complex ones that are nearly impossible to memorize. For, while there are patterns in the integrals, many times an antiderivative seems to bear no relation to the original function.
 The functions are indexed, based on a model integral. That form appears in the middle of the page and then there is a series of specific integrals that conform to that pattern. I found it enjoyable to scroll through this book at random, revisiting some of the integrals that I used to teach as well as evaluate in my work as a mathematician.

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