I begin this post with a plea: please don't be too harsh with this post for being off topic or vague. It's a question about something I find myself doing as a mathematician, and wonder whether others do it as well. It is a *soft* question about *recreational mathematics* - in reality, I'm shooting for more of a conversation.

I know that a lot of users on this site (e.g. Cleo, Jack D'Aurizio, and so on) are *really good* at figuring out crafty ways of solving recreational definite integrals, like
$$\int_{\pi/2}^{\pi} \frac{x\sin(x)}{5-4\cos(x)} \, dx$$
or
$$\int_0^\infty \bigg(\frac{x-1}{\ln^2(x)}-\frac{1}{\ln(x)}\bigg)\frac{dx}{x^2+1}$$
When questions like this pop up on MSE, the OP *provides* an integral to evaluate, and the answerers can evaluate it using awesome tricks including (but certainly not limited to):

- Clever substitution
- Exploitation of symmetry in the integrand
- Integration by parts
- Expanding the integrand as a series
- Differentiating a well-know integral-defined function, like the Gamma or Beta functions
- Taking Laplace and Inverse Laplace transforms

But when I play around with integrals on my own, I don't always have a particular problem to work on. Instead, I start with a known integral, like $$\int_0^\pi \cos(mx)\cos(nx) \, dx=\frac{\pi}{2}\delta_{mn},\space\space \forall m,n\in \mathbb Z^+$$ and "milk" it, for lack of a better word, to see how many other obscure, rare, or aesthetically pleasing integrals I can derive from it using some of the above techniques. For example, using the above integral, one might divide both sides by $m$, getting $$\int_0^\pi \frac{\cos(mx)}{m}\cos(nx) \, dx=\frac{\pi}{2m}\delta_{mn},\space\space \forall m,n,k\in \mathbb Z^+$$ Then, summing both sides from $m=1$ to $\infty$, and exploiting a well-known Fourier Series, obtain $$\int_0^\pi \cos(nx)\ln(2-2\cos(x)) \, dx=-\frac{\pi}{n},\space\space \forall n\in \mathbb Z^+$$ or, after a bit of algebra, the aesthetically pleasing result $$\int_0^{\pi/2} \cos(2nx)\ln(\sin(x)) \, dx=-\frac{\pi}{4n},\space\space \forall n\in \mathbb Z^+$$ After pulling a trick like this, I look through all of my notebooks and integral tables for other known integrals on which I can get away with the same trick, just to see what integrals I can "milk" out of them in the same way. This is just an example - even using the same starting integral, countless others can be obtained by using other Fourier Series, Power Series, integral identities, etc. For example, some integrals derived from the very same starting integral include $$\int_0^\pi \frac{\cos(nx)}{q-\cos(x)} \, dx=\frac{\pi(q-\sqrt{q^2-1})^{n+1}}{1-q^2+q\sqrt{q^2-1}}$$ $$\int_0^\pi \frac{dx}{(1+a^2-2a\cos(x))(1+b^2-2b\cos(mx))}=\frac{\pi(1+a^m b)}{(1-a^2)(1-b^2)(1-a^m b)}$$ and the astounding identity $$\int_0^{\pi/2}\ln{\lvert\sin(mx)\rvert}\cdot \ln{\lvert\sin(nx)\rvert}\, dx=\frac{\pi^3}{24}\frac{\gcd^2(m,n)}{mn}+\frac{\pi\ln^2(2)}{2}$$ Everyone seems to be curious about the proof of this last identity. A proof can be found in my answer here.

I just pick a starting integral, and using every technique I know as many times as possible, try to come up with the most exotic integrals as I can, rather than picking a specific integral and trying to solve it.

Of course, integrals generated this way would be poor (or at least *extremely* difficult) candidates for contest problems or puzzles to evaluate given the integral, since they are derived "backwards," and determining the derivation given the integral is likely much harder than pursuing the vague goal of a "nice-looking integral" with no objective objective (ha ha).

**QUESTION:** Do you (residents of MSE who regularly answer/pose recreational definite integral questions) do this same activity, in which you try to *generate*, rather than solve, cool integrals? If so, what are some integrals you have come up with in this way? What strategies do you use? Does anyone care to opine on the value (or perhaps lack of value) of seeking integrals in this way?

Cheers!