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Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society

Published by the American Mathematical Society since 1950, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society is devoted to shorter research articles in all areas of pure and applied mathematics.

ISSN 1088-6826 (online) ISSN 0002-9939 (print)

The 2020 MCQ for Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society is 0.85.

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Characterizations of ultraspherical polynomials and their $q$-analogues
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by Stefan Kahler PDF
Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 144 (2016), 87-101 Request permission


We investigate symmetric, suitably normalized orthogonal polynomial sequences $(P_n(x))_{n\in \mathbb {N}_0}$ and characterize the class of ultraspherical polynomials in terms of certain constancy properties of the Fourier coefficients which belong to $(P_{2n-1}^\prime (x))_{n\in \mathbb {N}}$. Similar characterizations are obtained for the discrete, resp. continuous, $q$-ultraspherical polynomials after replacing the derivative $\frac {\mathrm {d}}{\mathrm {d}x}$ by the $q$-difference operator $D_{q^{-1}}$, resp. Askey–Wilson operator $\mathcal {D}_q$. Our results extend earlier work of Lasser–Obermaier and Ismail–Obermaier where the whole sequences $(P_n^\prime (x))_{n\in \mathbb {N}}$, $(D_{q^{-1}}P_n(x))_{n\in \mathbb {N}}$ and $(\mathcal {D}_q P_n(x))_{n\in \mathbb {N}}$ had to be taken into account; we shall see that the characterizing properties concerning the even indices turn out to be redundant. We also characterize a large subclass of the continuous $q$-ultraspherical polynomials via the averaging operator $\mathcal {A}_q$, and we show that this characterization cannot be extended to the whole class.
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Additional Information
  • Stefan Kahler
  • Affiliation: Department of Mathematics, Chair for Mathematical Modelling, Chair for Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems, Technische Universität München, Boltzmannstr. 3, 85747 Garcing b. München, Germany
  • Email:
  • Received by editor(s): October 15, 2013
  • Received by editor(s) in revised form: August 20, 2014
  • Published electronically: September 4, 2015
  • Additional Notes: The author gratefully acknowledges support from the graduate program TopMath of the ENB (Elite Network of Bavaria) and the TopMath Graduate Center of TUM Graduate School at Technische Universität München. During large parts of his research the author was partially supported by a scholarship from the Max Weber-Programm within the ENB and by a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.
  • Communicated by: Walter Van Assche
  • © Copyright 2015 American Mathematical Society
  • Journal: Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 144 (2016), 87-101
  • MSC (2010): Primary 33C45, 33D45; Secondary 42C05, 42C10
  • DOI:
  • MathSciNet review: 3415579