Bosonic and Fermionic Calculus

Traditional calculus often mixes up different spaces, mostly due to pedagogical reasons. Its a bit like function overload in programming but there is a prize to be payed and this includes confusions when doing things in the discrete. Here are some examples: while in linear algebra we consider row and column vectors, in multivariable calculus, we only look at one … ….

Interaction cohomology

[Update, March 20, 2018: see the ArXiv text. See also an update blog entry with some Mathematica code. More mathematica code can be obtained from the TeX Source of the ArXiv article.]. Classical calculus we teach in single and multi variable calculus courses has an elegant analogue on finite simple graphs. The discrete theory is completely analogue, Stokes theorem is … ….

Wu Characteristic

Update: March 8, 2016: Handout for a mathtable talk on Wu characteristic. Gauss-Bonnet for multi-linear valuations deals with a number in discrete geometry. But since the number satisfies formulas which in the continuum need differential calculus, like curvature, the results can be seen in the light of quantum calculus. Here are some slides: So, why is the Wu characteristic an … ….

Exponential Function

We have seen that f'(x)=Df(x) = (f(x+h)-f(x))/h satisfies D[x]^n = n [x]^{n-1}.
We will often leave the constant $h$ out of the notation and use terminology like f'(x) = Df(x) for the “derivative”. It makes sense not to simplify [x]^n to $x^n$ since the algebra structure is different.

Define the exponential function as
exp(x) = \sum_{k=0}^{\infty} [x]^k/k!. It solves the equation Df=f. Because each of the approximating polynomials exp_n(x) = \sum_{k=0}^{n} [x]^k/k! is monotone and positive also exp(x) is monotone and positive for all x. The fixed point equation Df=f reads f(x+h) = f(x) + h f(x) = (1+h) f(x) so that for h=1/n we have f(x+1) = f(x+n h) = (1+h)^n f(x) = e_n f(x)
where $e_n \to e$. Because $n \to e_n$ is monotone, we see that the exponential function \exp(x) depends in a monotone manner on h and that for h \to 0 the graphs of $\exp(x)$ converge to the graph of \exp(x) as h \to 0.

Since the just defined exponential function is monotone, it can be inverted on the positive real axes. Its inverse is called \log(x). We can also define trigonometric functions by separating real and imaginary part of \exp(i x) = \cos(x) + i \sin(x). Since D\exp=\exp, these functions satisfy D\cos(x) = - \sin(x) and D\sin(x) = \cos(x) and are so both solutions to D^2 f = -f.