Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Was the Trapezoid Rule Invented in 1994?

Well, no.

But this 1994 paper claims to have invented this method, and it has 143 citations according to google scholar.

I tried quickly via google to figure out the earliest use of the trapezoid rule, but I was unable to do so. Let me know if you happen to know how old the rule actually is. I will remark, though, that I used the rule in high school in 1993. :)

(Tip of the cap to Karen Daniels.)


Lemming said...

Trapezoid rule?

I'm sorry, don't you mean the Tai model?

Mason said...

Yes, that's exactly what I mean.

Justin said...

NCBI ROFL mocked this back in December.

And apparently it's still getting roughly 1 citation/month...

Mason said...

Numerical analysis have apparently known about this paper for quite a while. (I e-mailed one to ask what he knew about the age of the trapezoid rule. He didn't know details other than to mention that one particular case dates back at least to Poisson in the 1820s.

By the way, the blog's criticism about Tai naming it after herself is actually not fair to Tai. Many biological journals require summaries and/or abstracts of papers in which it is conventional for authors to refer to themselves in the third person. I doubt very much that Tai actually intended her phrasing as naming the "model" after herself.