Curiculum Vitae
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from the
Dutch Mathematical
Book reviews
from the journal
Acta Applicandae

Book review

Author(s) Ranicki, A.A.
Title Algebraic L-Theory and Topological manifolds
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Year of publication 1992

This textbook provides lucid coverage of the application of the abstract theory of quadratic forms to the surgery classification of the topological manifolds. In the mid 70s A.A. Ranicki completed the full formalization of the Hermitian algebraic K-theory and gave the construction of the algebraic L-theory. Thus, the readers get the book from the skillful master in this field.

A topological space X is called an n-dimensional Poincare space if <formula>, where <formula> and <formula> are cohomology and homology groups respectivly with arbitrary coefficients. Two important problems in topology are considered in the book under review. First one is concerned the manifold structure existence problem, which is decided if a finite Poincare space is homotopy equivalent to a compact manifold. The second one is connected with the manifold structure uniqueness problem, which is determined if a homotopy equivalence of compact manifolds is homotopic to a homeomorphism, or at least h-cobordant to one. Using Browder-Novikov-Sullivan-Wall surgery theory, the construction of the computable obstruction for deciding the manifold structure existence and uniqueness problems in dimension n, n >= 5, are given.

The book is devided into two parts. First part, Algebra ( 1 - 15 ), is elucidated the L-theory of algebraic Poincare complexes in an additive category with chain duality, as well as algebraic bordism category. The second part, Topology ( 16 - 26), is devoted to the total surgery obstruction for solving two problems mentioned above.

This is unique book in this field and I can recommend one to post-graduate students in topology in the first place. Researchers in the number theory and algebra can find this book very valuable as well.

All in all, the scope of Algebraic L-Theory and Topological Manifolds, ranges from post-graduated students to research level and its purchase is a good investment for readers with interest in abstract algebra and topology.