These notes were the basis for a series of te n lectures given from Januar y 6-10,
1984 a t Polytechni c Institut e o f Ne w Yor k unde r th e sponsorshi p o f th e Con -
ference Boar d o f th e Mathematica l Science s an d th e Nationa l Scienc e Founda -
tion. Th e lecture s were aime d a t mathematician s wh o knew eithe r som e differen -
tial geometr y o r partia l differentia l equations , althoug h other s coul d hopefull y
understand th e lectures.
Ostensibly, th e primar y proble m addresse d her e i s t o understan d th e variou s
curvatures o n a Riemannia n manifold . Often thi s questio n ca n b e reduce d t o
solving some nonlinear partia l differentia l equations . But from th e viewpoin t o f a
geometer, thes e question s ar e onl y portal s t o see k a deepe r understandin g o f
Riemannian manifolds . On the other hand, an analyst may find th e geometry dul l
and stil l be delighted with the nonlinear partial differential equation s one is led t o
understand. Th e questions are rich enough to serve as motivation fo r man y varie d
One goal of thes e lectures was to state what is currently known an d no t know n
about a variety of problems that involv e the curvature of a Riemannian manifold .
My ow n inclinatio n wa s especially t o emphasize areas of curren t ignorance . Wit h
this in mind , a t th e end of thes e notes I have collected a partial lis t of som e open
questions that are drawn from th e main body of the lectures.
Generally, I trie d t o giv e th e essentia l idea s behin d variou s proofs , an d hav e
given references but certainly not detailed arguments. The only places where there
are detaile d discussion s ar e wher e th e materia l i s either difficul t t o extrac t fro m
the literature, or where it has not bee n written down. This is especially true of th e
last sectio n o f thes e notes, where I give Caffarelli's simplificatio n o f a n importan t
recent estimat e of Krylo v concernin g th e boundary regularit y fo r som e nonlinea r
elliptic equations. While this material is a bit technical , it appear s nowher e in th e
literature an d ma y hel p spee d progres s i n resolvin g variou s boundar y valu e
problems that arise in geometry.
There i s a considerabl e overla p betwee n thes e note s an d a serie s o f lecture s I
gave i n Japa n i n Jul y 1983. Bu t thes e note s hav e a muc h greate r emphasi s o n
geometric issues , whil e th e note s [K4 ] fro m th e lecture s i n Japa n gav e a mor e
detailed an d elementar y expositio n o f th e idea s fro m partia l differentia l equa -
tions. Because of thos e earlier notes—which wer e distributed a t th e NSF/CBM S