A Short Course on Approximation Theory

Please read the disclaimer and description before downloading these notes.

This is a set of lecture notes for a short course on Approximation Theory that I have offered several times to graduate students at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. In its first few incarnations, I used T. J. Rivlin's An Introduction to the Approximation of Functions, Dover, 1981, as a supplementary text. In recent years, I've tried to make the notes self-contained, although there are still plenty of references to Rivlin (and other texts).

The course is intended as a survey of elementary techniques in Approximation Theory for novices and non-experts. Experts in the field seeking new, original, or research topics should look elsewhere. This is strictly for beginners!

Prerequisites for a thorough understanding of the course include:

There is enough material here for roughly 25 hour-and-a-half lectures; probably not quite enough for a full semester course. On the other hand, it is sufficient background to facilitate reading more advanced books on the subject. I should also point out that the choice of topics reflects my personal interests and I make no claims that they will suit everyone's tastes.

The notes are available here in pdf format. The file is roughly 784Kb and the printed version is 159 pages.

Neal L. Carothers