An Invitation to Mathematics

pp 119-136

Ten Digit Problems

  • Lloyd N. TrefethenAffiliated withOxford University Mathematical Institute Email author 

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Most quantitative mathematical problems cannot be solved exactly, but there are powerful algorithms for solving many of them numerically to a specified degree of precision like ten digits or ten thousand. In this article three difficult problems of this kind are presented, and the story is told of the SIAM 100-Dollar, 100-Digit Challenge. The twists and turns along the way illustrate some of the flavor of algorithmic continuous mathematics.