This tag concerns computational problems central to mathematical and scientific computating. The scope includes algorithms, numerical analysis, optimization, and linear algebra, computational topology, computational geometry, symbolic methods, and inverse problems.

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48
votes
4answers
4k views

Is “A New Kind of Science” a new kind of science?

A couple of years ago I was reading "New Kind of Science" (NKS) by S. Wolfram, and it presented lot of interesting ideas for a young Physics undergraduate. Now that I am studying Mathematics however, ...
39
votes
4answers
17k views

What algorithm is used by computers to calculate logarithms?

I would like to know how are logarithms calculated by computers. The GNU C library, for example, uses a call to the fyl2x() assembler instruction, which means that ...
31
votes
0answers
514 views

On Ramanujan's curious equality for $\sqrt{2\,(1-3^{-2})(1-7^{-2})(1-11^{-2})\cdots} $

In Ramanujan's Notebooks, Vol IV, p.20, there is the rather curious, $$\sqrt{2\,\Big(1-\frac{1}{3^2}\Big) \Big(1-\frac{1}{7^2}\Big)\Big(1-\frac{1}{11^2}\Big)\Big(1-\frac{1}{19^2}\Big)} = \Big(1+\frac{...
23
votes
1answer
540 views

Computing (on a computer) the first few (non-trivial) zeros of the zeta function of a number field

If $K$ is a number field, whose Galois closure over the rationals has degree 24 or so, and whose discriminant is around $163^4$, then what is a numerically efficient way of computing the first few ...
21
votes
8answers
6k views

Rapid approximation of $\tanh(x)$

This is kind of a signal processing/programming/mathematics crossover question. At the moment it seems more math-related to me, but if the moderators feel it belongs elsewhere please feel free to ...
19
votes
4answers
473 views

How could I improve this approximation?

In a computer application, I need to solve trillions of times an equation which can be reduced to $$f(x)=\sin(x)-a x=0$$ Newton methods (quadratic and higher orders) are used for the solution. ...
17
votes
5answers
980 views

What interesting open mathematical problems could be solved if we could perform a “supertask” and what couldn't?

If we had a computer that could perform a countably infinite number of steps of a Turing machine, what currently open problems could we solve? I guess a lot of number theory problems could be solved ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Quadratic sieve algorithm

I am stuck with the sieving stage of Quadratic Sieve algorithm. I've read lots of papers to this point but I can't find any guidlines how to choose sieving interval or how sieving is actually done ...
15
votes
3answers
225 views

Plotting $\left(1+\frac{1}{x^n}\right)^{x^n}$.

When I plot the following function, the graph behaves strangely: $$f(x) = \left(1+\frac{1}{x^{16}}\right)^{x^{16}}$$ While $\lim_{x\to +\infty} f(x) = e$ the graph starts to fade at $x \approx 6$. ...
14
votes
0answers
168 views

Product of primes mod n

Let $n$ be an odd composite number. I'm trying to compute $$ f(n)=\prod_{n/2<p<n}p\pmod n $$ where $p$ ranges over the primes in the indicated region. Can this be done (significantly) faster ...
13
votes
2answers
224 views

$e$ popping up in topic I'm unfamiliar with

I programmed up a little algorithm that goes like this: Fix two positive, real numbers, call them $\alpha$ and $\beta$. Generate a new, random, real number, $x \in [0,1]$ Set $\alpha$ = $x\alpha\...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are there mathematicians that do not use computers?

I was watching a video on Andrew Wiles and his proof of Fermat's Last Theorem and I quite liked the video, especially the complexity of the proof only to prove a simple concept which can be understood ...
13
votes
1answer
189 views

Evaluation of a slow continued fraction

Puzzle question... I know how to solve it, and will post my solution if needed; but those who wish may participate in the spirit of coming up with elegant solutions rather than trying to teach me how ...
13
votes
1answer
352 views

Krylov-like method for solving systems of polynomials?

To iteratively solve large linear systems, many current state-of-the-art methods work by finding approximate solutions in successively larger (Krylov) subspaces. Are there similar iterative methods ...
12
votes
2answers
303 views

Efficient computation of $\sum_{k=1}^n \lfloor \frac{n}{k}\rfloor$

I realize that there is probably not a closed form, but is there an efficient way to calculate the following expression? $$\sum_{k=1}^n \left\lfloor \frac{n}{k}\right\rfloor$$ I've noticed $$\sum_{k=...
12
votes
1answer
177 views

On $1^2+2^2+\dots+24^2 = 70^2$, and $15^3+16^3+\dots+34^3 = 70^3$

It is quite well-known that, $$1^2+2^2+\dots+24^2 = 70^2$$ Not so well-known is, $$15^3+16^3+\dots+34^3 = 70^3$$ The formula for the sum of $m$ consecutive squares starting with $a^2$ is, $$F(a,m)...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How to check whether an ideal is a prime (or maximal) ideal?

I have a ring $R$ which is known to be a Dedekind domain, but not necessarily a Euclidian domain, and a nonzero ideal generated by one or two elements in this ring. How can I check if this ideal is a ...
12
votes
1answer
205 views

On the prime-generating polynomial $m^2+m+234505015943235329417$

In 2009, J. Waldvogel and Peter Leikauf found the remarkable Euler-like polynomial, $$F(m)=m^2+m+234505015943235329417$$ which is prime for $m=0\to20$, but composite for $m=21$. Define, $$F(m)=m^2+...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How else can we be nauty?

The graph canonical labelling package nauty is widely regarded as one of the best (if not the best) around. Unfortunately, it's quite a large package, and making a GPU version seems to be a highly ...
11
votes
1answer
447 views

Constructing a finite field

I'm looking for constructive ways to obtain finite fields, for any given size $q=p^n$. For example, I know it suffices to find an irreducible polynomial of degree $n$ over $\mathbb{Z}_p$ (and then ...
10
votes
6answers
575 views

Calculating logs and fractional exponents by hand

In view of what we can compute by hand, on a piece of paper, without having to use a computer or a calculator, how far can we go with the evaluation of $\log$-functions and fractional powers? More ...
10
votes
2answers
575 views

What does “Mathematics of Computation” mean?

I visited this link: http://www.ams.org/journals/mcom/1950-04-030/S0025-5718-50-99474-9/ And I a bit confused by its title "Mathematics of Computation". I am not a native English speaker. Could ...
10
votes
1answer
926 views

How do I prove the partial denominators formula of the Bauer-Muir transformation of a generalized continued fraction?

Notation: $b_{0}+\underset{n=1}{\overset{\infty }{\mathbb{K}}}\left( a_{n}/b_{n}\right) $ is the Gauss Notation for generalized continued fractions. Description of the Bauer-Muir transformation (...
9
votes
3answers
334 views

Three pythagorean triples

Are there any solutions for $a, b, c$ such that: $$a, b, c \in \Bbb N_1$$ $$\sqrt{a^2+(b+c)^2} \in \Bbb N_1$$ $$\sqrt{b^2+(a+c)^2} \in \Bbb N_1$$ $$\sqrt{c^2+(a+b)^2} \in \Bbb N_1$$
9
votes
1answer
146 views

How do I develop numerical routines for the evaluation of my own special functions?

This question has been cross-posted to ComputationalScience.SE here. When performing computational work, I often come across a univariate function, defined in terms of an integral or differential ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Fast Matlab Code for hypergeometric function $_2F_1$

I am looking for a good numerical algorithm to evaluate the hypergeometric function $_2F_1$ in Matlab (hypergeom in Matlab is very slow). I looked across the ...
9
votes
1answer
218 views

How many numbers $ N \le 10^{10}$ are the product of $3$ distinct primes?

How many numbers $ N \le10^{10}$ are the product of $3$ distinct primes? I can realistically calculate any $\pi(n), n < 10^{15} $ but I don't think it's possible to list all primes $>10^8$ in ...
9
votes
2answers
492 views

Computing the “lying over”, “going up”, “going down” ideals.

For any commutative unital ring $R$ and an ideal $\mathfrak{a}$ of $R$, we shall denote $$\begin{align*} \mathrm{Spec}(R)&:=\{\text{prime ideals of }R\},\\ \mathrm{Max}(R)&:=\{\text{...
9
votes
0answers
108 views

Generalizing Bellard's “exotic” formula for $\pi$ to $m=11$

Bellard's "exotic" pi formula has the form, $$a\pi+b = \sum_{n=1}^\infty \dfrac{P(n)}{{\displaystyle \binom{mn}{2n}2^{n-1}}}$$ where $a,b,m$ are integers and he uses $m=7$. However, it seems there ...
8
votes
9answers
15k views

Fastest Square Root Algorithm

What is the fastest algorithm for finding the square root of a number? I created one that can find the square root of "987654321" to 16 decimal places in just 20 iterations (I'm not ready to release ...
8
votes
1answer
552 views

Is there a way to calculate the definite integral of inverse of a 5th degree polynomial?

I want to calculate the definite integral of inverse of a 5th degree polynomial. The problem is that the inverse of the polynomial cannot be calculated (by using Matlab). However without calculating ...
8
votes
4answers
914 views

What is the most efficient way to calculate the sine of a rational number?

I'm happy that we can use some trig identities like $$\sin\left(\frac{\theta}{2}\right) \equiv \pm \sqrt{\frac{1-\cos(\theta)}{2}}$$ and $$\sin(\alpha \pm\beta) \equiv \sin(\alpha) \cos(\beta)\pm \...
8
votes
1answer
133 views

Are the unit partial quotients of $\pi, \log(2), \zeta(3) $ and other constants $all$ governed by $H=0.415\dots$?

Khinchin showed that given the simple continued fraction of a real number, $$r = a_0+\cfrac{1}{a_1+\cfrac{1}{a_2+\cfrac{1} {\ddots}}}$$ then it is almost always true that the partial quotients $a_i$ ...
8
votes
1answer
954 views

Why is Householder computationally more stable than modified Gram-Schmidt?

I'm having trouble nailing down why using Householder transformations yields a more stable/accurate result than the modified Gram-Schmidt method when computing the QR decomposition of a matrix. Can ...
8
votes
1answer
98 views

Given two algebraic conjugates $\alpha,\beta$ and their minimal polynomial, find a polynomial that vanishes at $\alpha\beta$ in a efficient way

Inspired by this question, I was wondering about the following problem. $\alpha,\beta,\gamma,\ldots$ are the roots of an irreducible polynomial over $\mathbb{Q}$. How to compute the coefficients ...
7
votes
5answers
384 views

What is a nice way to compute $f(x) = x / (\exp(x) - 1)$?

I want it to be stable near $f(0) = 1$. Is there a nice function that does this already, like maybe a hyperbolic trig function or something like expm1, or should I just check if $x$ is near zero and ...
7
votes
2answers
282 views

A conjecture about the prime function $p_n$

While testing my system Zet for computational mathematics I find possible relations now and then. The latest is: Conjecture: For all $(m,n)\in\mathbb Z_+^2$ except $(3,4),(4,3) \text{ and } (4,4)$...
7
votes
2answers
193 views

How was the $3x+1$ problem checked up to $5 \times 2^{60}$?

The Wikipedia article for the Collatz conjecture states that: The conjecture has been checked by computer for all starting values up to $5 \times 2^{60} \approx 5.764 \times 10^{18}$. It gives ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Carmichael numbers of form $m^3+1$ and Ramanujan's $1729$

While researching for a post on tetranacci pseudoprimes I came across a list of Carmichael numbers, $$C_n = 561,\, 1105,\, 1729,\, 2465,\, 2821,\dots$$ Of course, Ramanujan's taxicab number $1729 = ...
7
votes
2answers
556 views

Accelerating Convergence of a Sequence

Suppose I had a monotonically increasing sequence $\{d_{n}\}$ which is also bounded above. The $d_{n}$'s satisfy a given recurrence, however computationally they tend very slowly to the limit. What ...
7
votes
2answers
152 views

How to determine whether a point is inside a closed region or not?

Take the following parametric equation of an implicit curve as an example: $$ \left\{\quad \begin{array}{rl} x=& 9 \sin 2 t+5 \sin 3 t \\ y=& 9 \cos 2 t-5 \cos 3 t \\ \end{array} \right. $$ ...
7
votes
1answer
111 views

How to find this number, which is probably a very big prime or a product of big primes?

Let $\mathcal{N}(n)$ be the next prime greater than $n$. Which is the smallest natural number $n>0\;$ such that: $\mathcal N(2\cdot 3\cdot 5\cdot 7\cdot 11\cdot n)−2\cdot 3\cdot 5\cdot 7\cdot ...
7
votes
1answer
178 views

Accelerating approximations for arccos

I have recently built a method to accelerate drastically the accuracy of the following approximation of $\arccos(x)$ : $f_n(x)=2^n\sqrt{2-2g^{n-1}(x)}$ where $g(x)=\frac{1}2\sqrt{2+2x}$ and $g^n=g\...
7
votes
1answer
168 views

Fractional part of exp(x)

I have a real number $x$ (for concreteness, say $10^4<x<10^6$) and would like to find $e^x-\lfloor e^x\rfloor$ to reasonable precision (10-20 decimal places). What is the most efficient method? ...
7
votes
2answers
356 views

What is the average weight of a minimal spanning tree of $n$ randomly selected points in the unit cube?

Suppose we pick $n$ random points in the unit cube in $\mathbb{R}_3$, $p_1=\left(x_1,y_1,z_1\right),$ $p_2=\left(x_2,y_2,z_2\right),$ etc. (So, $x_i,y_i,z_i$ are $3n$ uniformly distributed random ...
6
votes
5answers
280 views

Computing as many digits as possible of $\sqrt{2}$ with a pen and a paper in 5 minutes

You have to compute as many digits as possible of $\sqrt{2}$ with a pen and a paper (an eraser if you're lucky...) in 5 minutes. What will you do? What is your justification for doing it? The ...
6
votes
3answers
296 views

Mathematical Limitations of Computer Experiments

One problem that has always bothered me is the limitations of computers in studying math. With a chaotic dynamical system, for example, we know mathematically that they possess trajectories that never ...
6
votes
3answers
266 views

Fast way to get a position of combination (without repetitions)

This question has an inverse: (Fast way to) Get a combination given its position in (reverse-)lexicographic order What would be the most efficient way to ...
6
votes
3answers
897 views

FFT with powers of 3

Classic Fast Fourier Transfrom (FFT) works fine, when $n$ is power of 2. How to generalize FFT procedure when $n$ is power of 3? Is it possible to easily modify the algorithm and preserve its ...
6
votes
3answers
116 views

Digits of $\pi$ using Integer Arithmetic

How can I compute the first few decimal digits of $\pi$ using only integer arithmetic? By 'integer arithmetic' I mean the operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication with both operands as ...