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Basic Quadratic Forms
Larry J. Gerstein, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

Graduate Studies in Mathematics
2008; 255 pp; hardcover
Volume: 90
ISBN-10: 0-8218-4465-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-4465-6
List Price: US$60
Member Price: US$48
Order Code: GSM/90
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The arithmetic theory of quadratic forms is a rich branch of number theory that has had important applications to several areas of pure mathematics--particularly group theory and topology--as well as to cryptography and coding theory. This book is a self-contained introduction to quadratic forms that is based on graduate courses the author has taught many times. It leads the reader from foundation material up to topics of current research interest--with special attention to the theory over the integers and over polynomial rings in one variable over a field--and requires only a basic background in linear and abstract algebra as a prerequisite. Whenever possible, concrete constructions are chosen over more abstract arguments. The book includes many exercises and explicit examples, and it is appropriate as a textbook for graduate courses or for independent study. To facilitate further study, a guide to the extensive literature on quadratic forms is provided.

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Graduate students interested in number theory and algebra. Mathematicians seeking an introduction to the study of quadratic forms on lattices over the integers and related rings.


"Basic Quadratic Forms is a great introduction to the theory of quadratic forms. The author is clearly an expert on the area as well as a masterful teacher. ... It should be included in the collection of any quadratic forms enthusiast."

-- MAA Reviews

"Gerstein's book contains a significant amount of material that has not appeared anywhere else in book form. ... It is written in an engaging style, and the author has struck a good balance, presenting enough proofs and arguments to give the flavor of the subject without getting bogged down in too many technical details. It can be expected to whet the appetites of many readers to delve more deeply into this beautiful classical subject and its contemporary applications."

-- Andrew G. Earnest for Zentralblatt MATH

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