Friday, June 04, 2010

The q-disease

Special Functions,
by Andrews, Askey and Roy.
Here's a belated review,
and a thank you.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Beauty in mathematics,
said Polya,
is seeing the truth
without effort.

Everything
in The Book
is as elegant,
as could be.

Everything
as simple,
as effortless,
as should be.

Everything
as beautiful,
as it is.

~*~*~*~*~*~



The Book
is an introduction.
A gateway.

Enticing,
pulling you in, 
inviting you
to enter.

And try a problem
on your own.

Or find
your own proof
of a classic theorem.

~*~*~*~*~*~

And then,
suddenly,
you experience
the heady rush,
that comes
when you get
an idea.

Or
the disappointment,
when
the idea
doesn't work.

And then again --
another idea.
And another
intoxicating rush.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Or perhaps
you wish
to derive
a q-identity.

And experience
the peaceful flow
found in
symbolic calculation.

The meditative calm
which comes
when you know the next step,
without knowing why
its the next step.
When things work out
almost by themselves.

And the wave of
satisfaction,
when the RHS
becomes
equal to
the LHS.
Suddenly,
and magically,
at the last step.

A Warning:
This book has been known to
infect people with 
the q-disease.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Enter at your own risk.
This is The Book.
And this gateway--
this is
The Gateway.
Once you are in,
it is impossible to return.

The q-disease
has no cure.

Not if you have been infected
by Special Functions,
written by
Andrews, Askey and Roy.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Book Review:

Special Functions,
George E. Andrews, Richard Askey and Ranjan Roy,
Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its Applications,
Cambridge University Press (1999).

GB's Math Poettary
Written on June 4, 2010, Professor Dick Askey's Birthday.