I solved two integrals left unsolved in a paper I'm reading. Should I notify the author?
I am studying in a finance master and we have been assigned a project for one of our class. This project consisted in some literature review and then a small implementation.
Reading one of the papers, in which the author propose a new density p to model a random variable, there is written that
- They can't find analytically the constant c that makes p a density (basically could not compute the integral of p)
- They write that numerical simulations show that E[X]= theta but an analytical proof was still missing
I have calculated in closed form both integrals, and numerical simulations suggest that my results are correct; I will probably add this to the project I'm writing.
Now the question is: should I send an email to the author about this? If so, how to phrase such an interaction? I guess that I'm looking for something along the lines of "thank you, well done" with maybe a short mention if they get around to modify the original paper.
On the other hand, the paper is old (2007) so I don't even know if the author is still interested in that.
Also, the proof was nothing too complicated. I mean I spent a lot of time on it (mainly because of my inexperience) but it certainly doesn't feel like anything too difficult. Probably I just "saw" the right path to do it and once you see that, it's pretty easy.
Is this something common to do? Are professors pleased to receive such an email or just annoyed?