Monday, October 06, 2003

I just found out there is such a thing as an Anger function. It's a special function related to Bessel functions. I have no idea where it is used, nor do I particularly care at the moment. I just think it's an amusing name.

I'm sure there's also a generation of students who thought it amusing to have classes with Professor Anger.

I don't have the same special dislike for Bessel functions and their kin that I think my dad acquired in college, but neither am I thrilled when they appear in homework computations. Usually by the time I'd think of using Bessel functions, though, I've given up on analytical methods and turned to the computer. And the fact that I remembered where to look for Kelvin's differential equation is dumb luck. Well, it was dumb luck insofar as there is anything lucky about looking in a standard reference. Blessings on the heads of the late Milton Abromowitz and Irene Stegun.

I spent some of Saturday evening visiting with the chemical engineering crew and eating an after-dinner dinner. We played a card matching game called Set and talked about this and that, where this was about half science and that was about half mathematics. I'm glad to have friends who find such conversations as fascinating as I do. Or at least who find them fascinating.

I went to San Jose yesterday afternoon to visit Winnie. That was a lot of fun. She's good company, and I really liked the carrot soup we had for dinner. I'd say it was better than Bessel functions, since the alliteration appeals to me, but I think that would be damning both the soup and the company with fainter praise than they deserve.

And now I'm going to make a cup of tea and switch from homework to research work. I think it would be appropriate to choose somethng that doesn't involve cylindrical harmonics.

  • Soon to be drinking: Green tea