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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Towards a general theory of special functions

A list of a number of natural developments for the field of algebraic manipulation is given. Then the prospects for a general theory of functions defined by ordinary differential equations are discussed. The claim is made that recent developments in mathematics indicate that it should be possible to algorithmically generate many properties of solutions to differential equations. Such a theory is preferable to a less general effort to make algebraic manipulation systems knowledgeable about the usual special functions (e.g. exponential, hypergeometric).

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