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Close Encounters with the Stirling Numbers of the Second Kind

by Khristo N. Boyadzhiev (Ohio Northern University)

Year of Award: 2013

Award: Allendoerfer

Publication Information: Mathematics Magazine, vol. 85, 2012, pp. 252-266 

Summary: The Scottish mathematician James Stirling, in his 1730 book Methodus Differentialis, explored Newton series, which are expansions of functions in terms of difference polynomials. The coefficients of these polynomials, computed using finite differences, are the Stirling numbers of the second kind. The article visits the work of Stirling, Newton, Grünert, Euler and Jacob Bernoulli. The author uses an analytical approach that mixes combinatorics and analysis.

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About the Author: (From the MathFest 2012 Prizes and Awards Booklet)

Khristo Boyadzhiev is a Professor of Mathematics at
Ohio Northern University
. He was born and educated in
Sofia, Bulgaria
. Khristo enrolled at Sofia University, "St.
Kliment Ohridski", with the intention to study physics, but the
calculus lectures of Yaroslav Tagamlitski changed his mind.
Later Tagamlitski became his PhD advisor.

At the beginning of his career Khristo was interested
mostly in Banach algebras and operator theory
. Later in life
he developed a steady interest in classical analysis

He is married and has two daughters. In his spare
time Khristo enjoys blogging, taking long walks around the
beautiful ONU campus
, and listening to classical music.




Subject classification(s): Algebra and Number Theory | Number Theory
Publication Date: 
Saturday, August 17, 2013