© 2004
A Taste of Jordan Algebras
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Part of the Universitext book series (UTX)
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© 2004
Part of the Universitext book series (UTX)
In this book, Kevin McCrimmon describes the history of Jordan Algebras and he describes in full mathematical detail the recent structure theory for Jordan algebras of arbitrary dimension due to Efim Zel'manov. To keep the exposition elementary, the structure theory is developed for linear Jordan algebras, though the modern quadratic methods are used throughout. Both the quadratic methods and the Zelmanov results go beyond the previous textbooks on Jordan theory, written in the 1960's and 1980's before the theory reached its final form.
This book is intended for graduate students and for individuals wishing to learn more about Jordan algebras. No previous knowledge is required beyond the standard first-year graduate algebra course. General students of algebra can profit from exposure to nonassociative algebras, and students or professional mathematicians working in areas such as Lie algebras, differential geometry, functional analysis, or exceptional groups and geometry can also profit from acquaintance with the material. Jordan algebras crop up in many surprising settings and can be applied to a variety of mathematical areas.
Kevin McCrimmon introduced the concept of a quadratic Jordan algebra and developed a structure theory of Jordan algebras over an arbitrary ring of scalars. He is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Virginia and the author of more than 100 research papers.
From the reviews:
"This is an excellent book, masterly written and very well organized, a real compendium of Jordan algebras offering all the relevant notions and results of the theory – and not only a ‘taste’. … is written as a direct mathematical conversation between the author and a reader, who has no knowledge of Jordan algebras. Thus more heuristic and explanatory comment is provided than is usual in graduate texts. … An exceptional book!" (H. Mitsch, Monatshefte für Mathematik, Vol. 144 (3), 2005)
"As mentioned in the preface, ‘this book tells the story of one aspect of Jordan structure theory … . The author proceeds to tell this fascinating story with a lovely and lively style … . concentrates explicitly on the structure theory of linear Jordan algebra … . It can be used in many different ways to teach graduate courses and also for self-study … . graduate students will have at their disposal a very well organized, motivating and engaging textbook." (Alberto Elduque, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1044 (19), 2004)
"The book … is intended, according to the author, to serve as an accompaniment to a graduate course in Jordan algebras. In fact the exposition goes far beyond this goal, resulting in a book much richer than the typical textbook. … The book is well written, and I enjoyed reading it. … The style is lively … . In my opinion this book will be indispensable for all mathematicians … . a great book and I believe it will serve the mathematical community well." (Plamen Koshlukov, Mathematical Reviews, 2004i)
"Read ‘A Taste of Jordan Algebras’ by K. McCrimmon, where, for the first time, a full account of both the mathematical development of Jordan algebra theory and its historical aspects is given. … Thanks to the very clever organization of the book … it is suited both to the very beginner and to the specialist … . Unlike all other monographs on Jordan algebras … McCrimmon’s book will be the fundamental textbook in this domain for many years to come." (Wolfgang Bertram, SIAM Reviews, Vol. 47 (1), 2005)
"McCrimmon is a pioneer in the subject of Jordan algebras … . ‘The reader should see isomorphisms as cloning maps, isotopes as subtle rearrangements of an algebra’s DNA … . The book is written in this marvellous style … very thorough, and very strong on (the right kind of) pedagogy. The reader will learn a lot of wonderful algebra well, if he takes care to follow McCrimmon’s plan: read carefully, do the problems, meditate on what’s going on, follow and absorb the analogies … ." (Michael Berg, MAA online, November, 2004)