Umbral Calculus

A. Di Bucchianico, D. Loeb


We survey the mathematical literature on umbral calculus (otherwise known as the calculus of finite differences) from its roots in the 19th century (and earlier) as a set of “magic rules” for lowering and raising indices, through its rebirth in the 1970’s as Rota’s school set it on a firm logical foundation using operator methods, to the current state of the art with numerous generalizations and applications. The survey itself is complemented by a fairly complete bibliography (over 500 references) which we expect to update regularly.

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