[Numpy-discussion] Integrating cephes with numpy

Michiel Jan Laurens de Hoon mdehoon at ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Wed Mar 5 21:21:15 EST 2003

Hi everybody,

You probably all know Travis Oliphant's SpecialFuncs (previously called 
cephes) module, which contains a large number of special functions. 
Currently it is not easy to install this module, since SpecialFuncs 
became a part of SciPy, which is great in itself but cannot be installed 
easily as other parts of SciPy depend on a host of other packages. As 
Scipy will get extended in the future, this problem will only get worse. 
Recently I have been asked several times for such a module for special 
functions, but I don't know where I can refer people to without qualms, 
especially for newbies.

Since the 'cephes' part of SpecialFuncs is basically an extension of 
umathmodule.c in numpy, it seems that numpy would be the natural place 
for cephes. So I would suggest to integrate cephes with numpy, either by 
adding cephes' special functions to umathmodule.c or as a separate 
module (similar to the LinearAlgebra or RandomArray parts of numpy). In 
the process, we can solve some installation problems in cephes which 
seem to be recurring frequently (see the numpy mailing list for some 

For the moment, I slapped together a version of the cephes module that 
can be installed more easily; however, I would think it is better to do 
this the right way and to avoid multiple variations of basically the 
same package floating around in cyberspace.

Any opinions on this? If this seems like a good idea, I'd be happy to do 
some additional coding if needed to set this up, though Travis Oliphant 
has basically done everything already so I wouldn't think much further 
coding is needed.

--Michiel de Hoon, University of Tokyo.

Michiel de Hoon, Assistant Professor
University of Tokyo, Institute of Medical Science
Human Genome Center
4-6-1 Shirokane-dai, Minato-ku
Tokyo 108-8639

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