Can I use numerical solution of ODE techniques to do numerical integration?


Yes.

If you are finding the value of the y=\int_{a}^{b} f(x) dx, then we can solve the integral as an ordinary differential equation as

dy/dx=f(x), y(a)=0

We can now use any of the numerical techniques such as Euler’s methods and Runge-Kutta methods to find the value of y(b) which would be the approximate value of the integral. Use exact techniques of solving linear ODEs with fixed coefficients such as Laplace transforms, and you can have the exact value of the integral.

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Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw (http://autarkaw.com) is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare (nm.MathForCollege.com) annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

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