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Combinatorial Methods

The main purpose of this book is to show how ideas from combinatorial group theory have spread to two other areas of mathematics: the theory of Lie algebras and affine algebraic geometry. Some of these ideas, in turn, came to combinatorial group theory from low-dimensional topology in the beginning of the 20th Century.
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Table of Contents

Preface.- Introduction.- I. Groups: Introduction. Classical Techniques. Test Elements. Other Special Elements. Automorphic Orbits.- II. Polynomial Algebras: Introduction. The Jacobian Conjecture. The Cancellation Conjecture. Nagata's Problem. The Embedding Problem. Coordinate Polynomials. Test Polynomials.- III. Free Nielsen-Schreier Algebras: Introduction. Schreier Varieties of Algebras. Rank Theorems and Primitive Elements. Generalized Primitive Elements. Free Leibniz Algebras.- References.- Notations.- Author Index.- Subject Index.

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From the reviews: "This book is devoted to a combinatorial theory of three types of objects: (1) free groups, (2) polynomial algebras and free associative algebras, (3) free algebras of the so-called Nielsen-Schreier varieties of algebras. It considers problems related mainly to the groups of automorphisms of these objects... The authors have done a lot of work to show that the same problems and the same ideas are the moving forces of the three theories. The book contains a good background on the classical results (most of them without proof) and a detailed exposition of the recent results. A large portion of the exposition is devoted to topics in which the authors have made their own contribution." -- MATHEMATICAL REVIEWS "The book consists of three parts: groups, polynomial algebras and free Nielsen-Schreier algebras. ... The book contains very interesting material to which the authors have made a valuable contribution. The book includes many open and very important problems. ... The exposition of the material is made with care. So the book could be recommended for students even as a textbook." (Vyacheslav A. Artamonov, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1039 (8), 2004)

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