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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: December 2009

Introduction

Summary

Introduction

Motivation. Analysis came to life in the number space Rn of dimension n and its complex analog Cn. Developments ever since have consistently shown that further progress and better understanding can be achieved by generalizing the notion of space, for instance to that of a manifold, of a topological vector space, or of a scheme, an algebraic or complex space having infinitesimal neighborhoods, each of these being defined over a field of characteristic which is 0 or positive. The search for unification by continuously reworking old results and blending these with new ones, which is so characteristic of mathematics, nowadays tends to be carried out more and more in these newer contexts, thus bypassing Rn. As a result of this the uninitiated, for whom Rn is still a difficult object, runs the risk of learning analysis in several real variables in a suboptimal manner. Nevertheless, to quote F. and R. Nevanlinna: “The elimination of coordinates signifies a gain not only in a formal sense. It leads to a greater unity and simplicity in the theory of functions of arbitrarily many variables, the algebraic structure of analysis is clarified, and at the same time the geometric aspects of linear algebra become more prominent, which simplifies one's ability to comprehend the overall structures and promotes the formation of new ideas and methods”.

In this text we have tried to strike a balance between the concrete and the abstract: a treatment of differential calculus in the traditional Rn by efficient methods and using contemporary terminology, providing solid background and adequate preparation for reading more advanced works.

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