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This is a paperback version of the second, much expanded, edition of Professor Macdonald's acclaimed monograph on symmetric functions and Hall polynomials. Almost every chapter has new sections and new examples have been included throughout. Extra material in the appendix to Chapter 1, for example, includes an account of the related theory of polynomial representations of the general linear groups (always in characteristic zero). Chapters 6 and 7 are new to the second edition: Chapter 6 contains an extended account of a family of symmetric functions depending rationally on two parameters. These symmetric functions include as particular cases many of those encountered earlier in the book but they also include, as a limiting case, Jack's symmetric functions depending on a parameter (Many of the properties of the Schur functions generalize to these two-parameter symmetric functions, but the proofs (at present) are usually more elaborate. Chapter 7 is devoted to the study of the zonal polynomials, long familiar to statisticians. From one point of view they are a special case of Jack's symmetric functions (the parameter ( being equal to 2) but their combinatorial and group-theoretic connections make them worthy of study in their own right. From reviews of the first edition: 'Despite the amount of material of such great potential interest to mathematicians...the theory of symmetric functions remains all but unknown to the persons it is most likely to benefit...Hopefully this beautifully written book will put an end to this state of affairs...I have no doubt that this book will become the definitive reference on symmetric functions and their applications.' Bulletin of the AMS '...In addition to providing a self-contained and coherent account of well-known and classical work, there is a great deal which is original. The book is dotted with gems, both old and new...It is a substantial and valuable volume and will be regarded as the authoritative source which has been long awaited in this subject.' LMS book reviews From reviews of the second edition: 'Evidently this second edition will be the source and reference book for symmetric functions in the near future.' bl. Math.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780198504504
ISBN-10: 0198504500
Format: Paperback
(233mm x 157mm x 27mm)
Pages: 488
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 9-Jul-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - I. G. Macdonald

Professor Ian Grant Macdonald, Emeritus Professor, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary and Westfield College, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS. Tel: 0171 975 5514; fax: 0181 981 9587. Professor Macdonald is a series editor for the Oxford Mathematical Monographs series, and is a key speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians 1998.

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