This Seminar began in Moscow in November 1943 and has continued without interruption up to the present. We are happy that with this vol ume, Birkhiiuser has begun to publish papers of talks from the Seminar. It was, unfortunately, difficult to organize their publication before 1990. Since 1990, most of the talks have taken place at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Parallel seminars were also held in Moscow, and during July, 1992, at IRES in Bures-sur-Yvette, France. Speakers were invited to submit papers in their own style, and to elaborate on what they discussed in the Seminar. We hope that readers will find the diversity of styles appealing, and recognize that to some extent this reflects the diversity of styles in a mathematical society. The principal aim was to have interesting talks, even if the topic was not especially popular at the time. The papers listed in the Table of Contents reflect some of the rich variety of ideas presented in the Seminar. Not all the speakers submit ted papers. Among the interesting talks that influenced the seminar in an important way, let us mention, for example, that of R. Langlands on per colation theory and those of J. Conway and J. McKay on sporadic groups. In addition, there were many extemporaneous talks as well as short discus sions.Vom Verlag:
The world famous Gelfand Seminars began in Moscow in November 1943 and have continued uninterrupted to the present time, having recently moved their location to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Parallel seminars have also been held in Moscow during July 1992, and at the IHES in Bures-sur-Yvette, France. The Seminars have always been known for their breadth of topics and diversity of styles - a true globalization of the art and science of mathematics. Many renowned mathematicians have presented new and interesting ideas at these seminars and been challenged and stimulated by the lively interaction with their colleagues and graduate students. Among the mathematicians represented in the 1990-1992 Seminars are: Jean-Luc Brylinski L. Corwin A. M. Gabrielov 1. M. Gelfand B. Goncharov D. Gorenstein Y.-Z. Huang M. M. Kapranov D. Kazhdan
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