This volume celebrates the major impact on modern group theory made by Philip Hall. The survey articles were commissioned to provide reasonably self-contained, up-to-date and forward-looking accounts of finite and infinite group theory.
Mathematicians working on group theory and ring theory will find this volume interesting and useful, and the material is accessible to students specializing in algebra.
This book was prepared for Philip Hall's 80th birthday, but is now published after his death as a tribute to his genius.
FROM THE PREFACE: This book was to have been an eightieth birthday present for Philip Hall. In the summer of 1980 the Council of the London Mathematical Society asked us to edit a volume to mark Hall's 80th birthday on the eleventh of April 1984. We decided to produce a book in two parts: the first to consist of commissioned survey articles and the second of submitted research papers. Because we intended to invite research articles by advertisement, we had to tell Hall something of our plans; this we did at a pub lunch outside Cambridge in May 1981. At the same time we asked him if he would agree to take part in a birthday celebration in his honour which had been proposed by the Society. Characteristically he said that he would prefer no public festivity; but he liked the idea of a book, especially the surveys.
Our idea was that each survey would give a reasonably self-contained, up-to-date and forward-looking account of an area in which Hall had made important contributions. In view of Hall's considerable impact on modern group theory, we hoped that the essays would together form a fairly coherent picture of the subject. So as to avoid too much overlap, we suggested to each author the area we should like him to cover, but only in broad terms; the choice of material within the suggested area was left entirely to him. It was inevitable, perhaps, that gaps would remain.
When Hall died on 30th December 1982, we felt that the second half of the planned book was no longer appropriate, but that the essays should still be published. We offer them here not as a memorial volume, since they were largely written while Philip Hall was alive and well, but as a tribute to his genius.
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