The founders of index theory: reminiscences of Atiyah, Bott, Hirzebruch, and Singer. (English) Zbl 1072.01021

Somerville: International Press (ISBN 1-57146-120-5 ). liv, 358 p. (2003).
From the preface: This volume is dedicated to the four men who developed index theory, inspired a generation of mathematicians, and have contributed throughout their lives to the progress of the field. The variety of men and women who have contributed to this volume is a partial testimony to the wide influence these men have had.
Contents (following preface and photographs):
Michael Atiyah: Curriculum vita; M. Atiyah, “Personal history”; Nigel Hitchen, “Sir Michael Atiyah: a brief biography”; Peter Goddard, “Sir Michael Atiyah and the early days of the Newton Institute”; R. Bott, ”A letter from Raoul Bott”; S. Donaldson, “Geometry in Oxford c. 1980–85”; G. Lusztig, “Recollections about my teacher, Michael Atiyah”; L. Nirenberg, “Memories of Sir Michael Atiyah”; G. B. Segal, “Being a graduate student of Michael Atiyah”; E. Witten, “Michael Atiyah and the physics/geometry interface”; M. Atiyah, “Mathematics: queen and servant of the sciences”; M. Atiyah, “The conscience of science”.
Raoul Bott: Curriculum vita; Interview with Raoul Bott; L. W. Tu, “The life and works of Raoul Bott”; R. Forman, “Lessons from graduate school”; N. Hingston, “The beautiful vision of Raoul Bott”; P. Landweber, “Some reminiscences about Raoul Bott”; L. W. Tu, “Reminiscences of working with Raoul Bott”; E. Witten, “Lessons from Raoul Bott”.
Friedrich Hirzebruch: Curriculum vitae; Correspondence between J. A. Todd and F. Hirzebruch; F. Hirzebruch, “Kunihiko Kodaira: mathematician, friend, and teacher”; A. Jackson, “Bonn’s Max Planck Institute: a new building and a new era”; E. Brieskorn, “Singularities in the work of Friedrich Hirzebruch”; K. Hulek, “Friedrich Hirzebruch and mathematics in post-war Germany”; M. Kreck, ”Hirzebruch-Flächen”.
I. M. Singer: Curriculum vita; I. Singer, “A tribute to Warren Ambrose”; K. Hoffman, “Fifty years of friendship and collaboration with Singer”; C. C. Moore, “Iz Singer and the founding of MSRI”; D. Freed and J. Lott, “Singer’s Berkeley Seminar”; R. V. Kadison, “Which Singer is that?”; H. Rossi, “Reminiscences of a mathematics student, 40 years ago”; D. Stroock, “Is Singer”; F. Warner, “I. M. Singer”; E. Witten, “Is Singer’s contributions to geometry and physics”; S. T. Yau, “My friendship with Singer”.
In combination: M. Atiyah, “Letter to Raoul, Fritz, and Is”; R. Bott, “Letter to Fritz, Is and Michael”; F. Hirzebruch, “Letter to Michael, Raoul, and Iz”; I. M. Singer, “Letters to Michael, Raoul, and Fritz”; R. G. Douglas, “The evolution of modern analysis”; L. Gårding, “A happy collaboration”; A. Weinstein, “Memories of the gang of four”.
Bibliographies: Michael Atiyah; Raoul Bott; Friedrich Hirzebruch; I. M. Singer.


01A70 Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies
00A99 General and miscellaneous specific topics
01-06 Proceedings, conferences, collections, etc. pertaining to history and biography
58-03 History of global analysis
58J20 Index theory and related fixed-point theorems on manifolds