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**Irene Ann Stegun** (February 9, 1919 – January 27, 2008)^{[1]} was an American mathematician at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) who edited a classic book of mathematical tables called *A Handbook of Mathematical Functions*, widely known as *Abramowitz and Stegun*.^{[2]}

Irene Stegun | |
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Born | February 9, 1919 Yonkers, New York |

Died | January 27, 2008 Danbury, Connecticut |

Occupation | Mathematician |

Notable work | A Handbook of Mathematical Functions (1964) |

Stegun was born in Yonkers, New York,^{[1]} the daughter of Richard Stegun and Regina Skakandi Stegun. Her parents were both immigrants from central Europe. Her father owned a restaurant.^{[3]} She trained as a teacher, and later completed a master's degree in mathematics at Columbia University.^{[4]}

Stegun began her mathematical career during the Second World War. After teaching mathematics at a Catholic school in New York, she joined the Planning Committee of the Mathematical Tables Project of the WPA. In that role, she learned the basics of numerical analysis from the committee's chair, Gertrude Blanch. While working at the Mathematics Tables Project, she completed her master's degree at Columbia.^{[4]}

In 1948, Stegun and a handful of other members of the Mathematical Tables Project moved to Washington, D.C., where they set up the Computation Laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards. She eventually rose to assistant chief of the Computation Laboratory at NBS. In 1965, Stegun was awarded a Gold Medal from the Department of Commerce for her efforts in completing the project. She held the position of assistant chief of the Computing Lab until she became the interim director in 1965.

Stegun and Milton Abramowitz co-edited a book of mathematical tables called *A Handbook of Mathematical Functions* (1964).^{[5]}^{[6]} The handbook is considered a classic,^{[7]} "a major cooperative endeavor"^{[8]} and "one of the very few scientific activities of the 1950s led by a woman."^{[4]} The pair also wrote articles for academic journals including *Physical Review,*^{[9]} *Journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics,*^{[10]} and *Mathematics of Computation.*^{[11]} Abramowitz died in 1958, before their book was published.^{[4]} With other co-authors, she also had publications in the *Journal of Applied Physics*^{[12]} and the *Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards*.^{[13]}

- "Generation of Coulomb Wave Functions by Means of Recurrence Relations" (1955, with Milton Abramowitz)
^{[9]} - "Pitfalls in Computation" (1956, with Milton Abramowitz)
^{[10]} - "Generation of Bessel Functions on High Speed Computers" (1957, with Milton Abramowitz)
^{[11]} - "Ferroelectric Switching and the Sievert Integral" (1963, with P. H. Fang)
^{[12]} - "Automatic computing methods for special functions" (1970, with Ruth Zucker)
^{[13]} - "Automatic computing methods for special functions. Part II. The exponential integral En (x)" (1974, with Ruth Zucker)
^{[14]} - "Automatic computing methods for special functions. Part III. The sine, cosine, exponential integrals, and related functions" (1976, with Ruth Zucker)
^{[15]} - "Automatic Computing Methods for Special Functions. Part IV. Complex Error Function, Fresnel Integrals, and Other Related Functions" (1981, with Ruth Zucker)
^{[16]}

Stegun died in 2008, at the age of 88, in Danbury, Connecticut.^{[1]}

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^{a}^{b}^{c}"Obituary Stegun, Irene A." The Journal News. 2008-01-29. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. **^**Davis, Philip J. (2005-05-01). "The Author and Her Subject: Kathleen Broome Williams on Grace Murray Hopper*(on: Kathleen Broome Williams (2004).*Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea*. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, USA)*" (Book review). Kathleen Broome Williams. SIAM News. Archived from the original on 2017-05-03.**^**"Obituary for Regina Stegun (Aged 60)".*The Herald Statesman*. 1970-08-14. p. 2. Retrieved 2022-09-22 – via Newspapers.com.- ^
^{a}^{b}^{c}^{d}Grier, David Alan (August 2006). "Irene Stegun, The Handbook of Mathematical Functions and the Lingering Influence of the New Deal".*American Mathematical Monthly*.**113**(7): 585–597. doi:10.2307/27642002. JSTOR 27642002. **^**Abramowitz, Milton; Stegun, Irene A. (1964).*Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables*. U.S. Government Printing Office.**^**W., J. W. (1965). "Review of Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables".*Mathematics of Computation*.**19**(89): 147–149. doi:10.2307/2004114. ISSN 0025-5718. JSTOR 2004114.**^**Grier, David Alan (2005).*When computers were human*. Internet Archive. Princeton University Press. pp. 314–315. ISBN 978-1-4008-4936-9.**^**"Handbook of Mathematical Functions Passes 100 000 Mark".*National Bureau of Standards, Technical News Bulletin*.**53**(11): 258. November 1969 – via Internet Archive.- ^
^{a}^{b}Stegun, Irene A.; Abramowitz, Milton (1955-06-15). "Generation of Coulomb Wave Functions by Means of Recurrence Relations".*Physical Review*.**98**(6): 1851–1852. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.98.1851. - ^
^{a}^{b}Stegun, Irene A.; Abramowitz, Milton (1956). "Pitfalls in Computation".*Journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics*.**4**(4): 207–219. doi:10.1137/0104011. ISSN 0368-4245. JSTOR 2098786. - ^
^{a}^{b}Stegun, Irene A.; Abramowitz, Milton (1957). "Generation of Bessel Functions on High Speed Computers".*Mathematical Tables and Other Aids to Computation*.**11**(60): 255–257. doi:10.2307/2001944. ISSN 0891-6837. JSTOR 2001944. - ^
^{a}^{b}Fang, P. H.; Stegun, Irene A. (1963-02-01). "Ferroelectric Switching and the Sievert Integral".*Journal of Applied Physics*.**34**(2): 284–286. doi:10.1063/1.1702599. ISSN 0021-8979. - ^
^{a}^{b}Stegun, Irene A., and Ruth Zucker. "Automatic computing methods for special functions."*J. Res. Nat. Bur. Standards B*74 (1970): 211-224. **^**Stegun, Irene A., and Ruth Zucker. "Automatic computing methods for special functions. Part II. The exponential integral En (x)."*J. Res. Nat. Bur. Standards B*78 (1974): 199-216.**^**Stegun, Irene A., and Ruth Zucker. "Automatic computing methods for special functions. Part III. The sine, cosine, exponential integrals, and related functions."*J. Res. Nat. Bur. Standards B*80 (1976): 291-311.**^**Stegun, I.A.; Zucker, R. (November 1981). "Automatic Computing Methods for Special Functions. Part IV. Complex Error Function, Fresnel Integrals, and Other Related Functions" (PDF).*Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards*.**86**(6): 661–686. doi:10.6028/jres.086.031. ISSN 0160-1741. PMC 6753013. PMID 34566066.