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Jacques Tits Œuvres — Collected Works, Volumes I–IV

Jacques Tits
Publisher: 
European Mathematical Society
Publication Date: 
2014
Number of Pages: 
3963
Format: 
Hardcover
Series: 
Heritage of European Mathematics
Price: 
798.00
ISBN: 
9783037191262
Category: 
Collection
[Reviewed by
Fernando Q. Gouvêa
, on
04/9/2014
]

Here at MAA Reviews headquarters we are swimming in collected works volumes. Springer’s Collected Works in Mathematics series is bringing back into print many of these, as we have noted. The massive four-volume Oeuvres of Jacques Tits has been published by the European Mathematical Society in their Heritage of European Mathematics series. They have done an amazing job.

A winner of the Abel prize in 2008, Jacques Tits was surely an enormous presence in mathematics throughout the second half of the twentieth century. The first 100 or so pages of the first volume of the Oeuvres give a Curriculum Vitae, a brief biography and several accounts of Tits’s work, including his own account of his work up to 1972. Then follow the papers, numbered according to the complete list of publications that appears at the end of each volume.

The English title “Collected Works” is not quite correct: the editors have, in fact, omitted some of Tits’s publications. Notes at the end of each volume explain these decisions. Most of the time, a paper is omitted when its content is entirely subsumed by a later paper. The editor’s notes also try to contextualize the papers, pointing to further work by Tits and others and in particular to links between different papers.

Not included at all in these four volumes are the “résumés des cours” of the College de France, which will be published separately. But apart from those we get almost a complete survey of Tits’s work, including several book-length works and some unpublished material. Papers are, as usual, reproduced photographically rather than being reset, so many pages have double numeration: the numbers from the original publication and the page numbers from this edition. The volumes are massive but seem to be well-made and built to last. They are an impressive tribute to a great mathematician.


Fernando Q. Gouvêa is Carter Professor of Mathematics at Colby College in Waterville, ME.

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