**Selected Lectures**

1994;

MSC: Primary 55;
**Print ISBN: 978-0-8218-8091-3
Product Code: VIDEO/93**

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# In Search of Symmetry

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*William Browder*

William Browder served as President of the American Mathematical Society during 1990–1991. This videotape contains his Retiring Presidential Address—which combined short remarks about his presidency with a mathematical lecture—preceded by an informal interview in which he discusses a range of topics, including public awareness of mathematics and his interest in music. The lecture discusses the action of finite groups on manifolds, exploring the question of how large a finite group can effectively act on a given manifold (here, “effectively” means that there is no subgroup that fixes everything). A related question is, what kind of spaces have the given manifold as a covering space? Beginning with the historical roots of these questions, Browder concentrates on familiar examples such as the sphere, the \(n\)-sphere, or a product of spheres of different dimensions. The lecture is accessible to mathematics majors with background in algebraic topology. The interview segment provides a fine complement to the lecture.