This book is dedicated with love, gratitude and admiration to Professor David Speiser by a group of his friends on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. Let me say a few words about our dear friend David. He grew up in the highly civilised atmosphere of Basel, a state unto a state, un des lieux saints de notre civilization, as Lucien Fevre wrote echoing, one hundred years later, Jakob Burckhardt who had written “small states exist so that there may be some spot on earth where the largest possible proportion of the members of the state are citizens in the fullest sense of the word. ” Beside having been born in such a blessed place, David has had the additional privilege of growing up in the intellectual and cosmopolitan milieu of a family where artists, scientist, musicians were frequent visitors. Moreover David’s uncle, Andreas Speiser, was an eminent mathematician who besides an influential book, Die Theorie der Gruppen von endlicher Ordung, wrote a delightful essay, Die Matematishe Denkweise, which introduced his gifted nephew to the mysterious relations between mathematics and the arts, a leit-motiv in all David’s thinking. I said in the beginning that this Festshrift is a token of our admiration for the breadth of David’s interests, which range from science to history to the arts.
Interdisciplinary studies show the connections between sciences and artContributions to David Speiser's own field as well as other disciplines are brought to light