Symmetric Functions 2001: Surveys of Developments and Perspectives
This volume contains the proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute "Symmetric Functions 2001: Surveys of Developments and Per spectives", held at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, UK, during the two weeks 25 June - 6 July 2001. The objective of the ASI was to survey recent developments and outline research perspectives in various fields, for which the fundamental questions can be stated in the language of symmetric functions (along the way emphasizing interdisciplinary connections). The instructional goals of the event determined its format: the ASI consisted of about a dozen mini-courses. Seven of them served as a basis for the papers comprising the current volume. The ASI lecturers were: Persi Diaconis, William Fulton, Mark Haiman, Phil Hanlon, Alexander Klyachko, Bernard Leclerc, Ian G. Macdonald, Masatoshi Noumi, Andrei Okounkov, Grigori Olshanski, Eric Opdam, Ana toly Vershik, and Andrei Zelevinsky. The organizing committee consisted of Phil Hanlon, Ian Macdonald, Andrei 0 kounkov, G rigori 0 lshanski (co-director), and myself ( co-director). The original ASI co-director Sergei Kerov, who was instrumental in determining the format and scope of the event, selection of speakers, and drafting the initial grant proposal, died in July 2000. Kerov's mathemat ical ideas strongly influenced the field, and were presented at length in a number of ASI lectures. A special afternoon session on Monday, July 2, was dedicated to his memory.