Branch cuts – not just a technical detail

Speaker: James Davenport
Date: 23/01/2012
Time: 13:30 - 14:30

Location: RISC Seminar room

The precise definition of functions such as inverse sine is generally thought of as a tedious business, settled by Abramowitz and Stegun. However, the concept of branch cuts, and more generally the fact that functions such as sine do not possess a well-defined continuous inverse, insidiously pervades much of computer algebra, and indeed computer mathematics. We will explore how this affects computer algebra, and why not so much is written, or done, about these issues.