John von Neumann and Marshall H. Stone were mathematicians of great power,
vision, and remarkable ingenuity. Their profound contributions to mathematics and
the broader scientific enterprise have left a rich legacy for researchers that continues
The present volume contains the proceedings of an AMS Special Session entitled
Operator Algebras, Quantization, and Noncommutative Geometry: A Centennial
Celebration in Honor of John von Neumann and Marshall H. Stone. This session,
held in Baltimore, Maryland, January 15-16, 2003, marked the
of the birth of both von Neumann and Stone. The Table of Contents reveals pa-
pers that range from expository and historical surveys to original research articles.
The influence of von Neumann's and Stone's fundamental ideas forms a backdrop
throughout these papers. All of these articles, which span a rather broad range of
mathematics, have been carefully refereed and will not appear elsewhere. The arti-
cle, The Legend of John von Neumann by Paul Halmos, has been reprinted in this
collection with permission of the author and the American Mathematical Monthly.
Many of the papers that appear herein are expanded versions of the authors'
talks in Baltimore and were written especially for this volume. The article, Mar-
shall H. Stone: Mathematician, Statesman, Advisor and Friend by G. W. Mackey
was written at the request of the editors. Professor Mackey graciously agreed to
prepare the article even though he has had some difficulties with his health. Nigel
Higson was unable to accept our invitation to speak at Baltimore but at the editors'
request agreed to contribute the article Meromorphic continuation of zeta functions
associated to elliptic operators.
The editors wish to express their sincere gratitude and thanks to all who made
this volume possible. In particular, they wish to thank the other speakers for
their beautiful talks and their willingness to spend many hours writing them up
so the results would be available to the larger mathematical community. We also
acknowledge the hard work and help of the referees. We are indebted to David
Addis, our technical associate, for a thoroughly professional job of getting the
manuscript ready for publication. His care for detail is reflected throughout the
volume. Finally, we wish to thank Sergei Gelfand, Christine Thivierge, and the
dedicated staff at the American Mathematical Society for their efforts in publishing
Robert S. Doran
Richard V. Kadison