# Special Functions

Course category:
3rd year
Module code:
MAT00027H
Year:
2012/13
Term:
Spring
Credits:
10

## Aims

The aim of the module is to introduce students to a variety of special functions using integral representations and linear differential equations as the main technique.

## Learning objectives

At the end of the module you should be able to:

• use the general properties of Gamma and Beta functions;
• use methods of studying asymptotic behaviour of functions;
• solve linear differential equations by power series;
• solve linear differential equations by Laplace method;
• use general properties of hypergeometric equation and its solutions;
• use classical orthogonal polynomials

## Syllabus

• Gamma and Beta functions
• Infinite products
• Asymptotic expansions, method of steepest descent;
• Power series solutions to second-order linear differential equations; singular points and the Frobenius series.
• Hypergeometric equation, properties of its solutions, integral representation for the solutions.
• Confluent hypergeometric equation.
• Hypergeometric polynomials. Classical orthogonal polynomials.

## Recommended texts

• G F Simmons, Differential Equations, with Applications and Historical Notes, Tata MacGraw-Hill (paperback) (S7.38 SIM)
• E T Whittaker and G N Watson, A Course of Modern Analysis, Cambridge University Press

## Teaching

• Spring Term

4 lectures per week from weeks 2-7.

## Assessment

Two hour unseen examination towards the end of the Summer Term (100%),

## Elective information

This module aims to explore the realm beyond the elementary functions domain. We shall study functions defined by integrals which can not be expressed in terms of elementary functions, such as the celebrated Gamma function. We shall study their properties by means of the complex analysis and differential equations.

Please check prerequisites carefully before asking to take this module as an elective.