January 01, 2018 Berkeley

Today's fortune

Risch’s decision procedure for integration, not surprisingly, uses a recursion on the number and type of the extensions from the rational functions needed to represent the integrand. Although the algorithm follows and critically depends upon the appropriate structure of the input, as in the case of multivariate factorization, we cannot claim that the algorithm is a natural one. In fact, the creator of differential algebra, Ritt, committed suicide in the early 1950’s, largely, it is claimed, because few paid attention to his work. Probably he would have received more attention had he obtained the algorithm as well.

– Joel Moses, “Algorithms and Complexity”, ed. J.F. Traub