Synopses & Reviews
Synopsis
This volume is a result of a meeting which took place in June 1986 at 'll Ciocco" in Italy entitled 'Deformation theory of algebras and structures and applications'. It appears somewhat later than is perhaps desirable for a volume resulting from a summer school. In return it contains a good many results which were not yet available at the time of the meeting. In particular it is now abundantly clear that the Deformation theory of algebras is indeed central to the whole philosophy of deformations/perturbations/stability. This is one of the main results of the 254 page paper below (practically a book in itself) by Gerstenhaber and Shack entitled "Algebraic cohomology and defor- mation theory." Two of the main philosphical-methodological pillars on which deformation theory rests are the fol- lowing - (Pure) To study a highly complicated object, it is fruitful to study the ways in which it can arise as a limit of a family of simpler objects: "the unraveling of complicated structures" . - (Applied) If a mathematical model is to be applied to the real world there will usually be such things as coefficients which are imperfectly known. Thus it is important to know how the behaviour of a model changes as it is perturbed (deformed).