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An ultrafilter is a truth-value assignment to the family of subsets of a set, and a method of convergence to infinity. From the first (logical) property arises its connection with two-valued logic and model theory; from the second (convergence) property arises its connection with topology and set theory. Both these descriptions of an ultrafilter are connected with compactness. The model-theoretic property finds its expression in the construction of the ultraproduct and the compactness type of theorem of Los (implying the compactness theorem of first-order logic); and the convergence property leads to the process of completion by the adjunction of an ideal element for every ultrafilter-i. e. , to the Stone-Cech com pactification process (implying the Tychonoff theorem on the compact ness of products). Since these are two ways of describing the same mathematical object, it is reasonable to expect that a study of ultrafilters from these points of view will yield results and methods which can be fruitfully crossbred. This unifying aspect is indeed what we have attempted to emphasize in the present work.
Commutative algebra is a rapidly growing subject that is developing in many different directions. This volume presents several of the most recent results from various areas related to both Noetherian and non-Noetherian commutative algebra. This volume contains a collection of invited survey articles by some of the leading experts in the field. The authors of these chapters have been carefully selected for their important contributions to an area of commutative-algebraic research. Some topics presented in the volume include: generalizations of cyclic modules, zero divisor graphs, class semigroups, forcing algebras, syzygy bundles, tight closure, Gorenstein dimensions, tensor products of algebras over fields, as well as many others. This book is intended for researchers and graduate students interested in studying the many topics related to commutative algebra.
Topology, for many years, has been one of the most exciting and influential fields of research in modern mathematics. Although its origins may be traced back several hundred years, it was Poincaré who "gave topology wings" in a classic series of articles published around the turn of the century. While the earlier history, sometimes called the prehistory, is also considered, this volume is mainly concerned with the more recent history of topology, from Poincaré onwards. As will be seen from the list of contents the articles cover a wide range of topics. Some are more technical than others, but the reader without a great deal of technical knowledge should still find most of the articles accessible. Some are written by professional historians of mathematics, others by historically-minded mathematicians, who tend to have a different viewpoint.
This book is the proceedings of Falk Symposium 128, held in Würzburg, Germany, on May 2-3, 2002, and dedicated to the important issue of colonic carcinogenesis and its underlying genetic and environmental factors. Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in industrialized countries. It has been recognized to be the consequence of a dynamic process leading from hyperproliferative epithelium through different classes of adenomas to invasive carcinoma. This adenoma-carcinoma sequence has been characterized on a molecular basis. Modern molecular biology has also helped to clarify the clustering of colorectal cancer within families, a phenomenon that has been known to clinicians for a long time. Thus, the pathogenesis of the two distinct familial colon cancer syndromes FAP (familial adenomatous polyposis) and HNPCC (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer) is increasingly being understood. Thereby, an identification of affected people has become possible before the disease has manifested. There is also convincing evidence that the pathogenesis of sporadic colonic cancer is modulated by environmental, mainly nutritional, factors. Carcinogens seem to be far less important than the components of the `normal' human diet. It is likely that the interplay between protective and noxious dietary compounds determines the progression of the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. Additionally, a broad spectrum of drugs has been shown to affect colonic tumorigenesis, which provides the rationale for chemoprevention strategies. These issues set the scene for discussions on how genetic and environmental factors may interact in the pathogenesis of colonic cancer, contributing fresh ideas to the prevention of this most prevalent malignancy in the industrialized world.
Symposion Proceedings, San Servolo, Venice, Italy, May 16-22, 1999

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