xx Preface

Paul Glendinning gave me permission to quote large fragments of

his papers [183, 185].

Anonymous,

age unknown

My work on genetic algorithms shaped my understand-

ing of the evolution of algorithms; I am grateful to my col-

laborator Rick Booth who shared with me the burden of the

project. Also, the very first seed which grew into this book

can be found in our joint paper [108].

Finally, my thanks go to the blogging community—I have

picked from the blogosphere some ideas and quite a number

of references—and especially to numerous anonymous com-

mentators on my blog.

Acknowledgements: Hospitality

I developed some of the ideas of Section 7.1 in a conversation

with Maria do Rosario ´ Pinto; I thank her and Maria Leonor

Moreira for their hospitality in Porto.

Parts of the book were written during my visits to University

Paris VI in January 2004 and June 2005 on invitation from Michel

Las Vergnas, and I use this opportunity to tell Janette and Michel

Las Vergnas how enchanted I was by their hospitality.

Section 10.5 of the book is a direct result of a mathematical

tour of Cappadocia in January 2006, organized by my Turkish col-

leagues Ays ¸e Berkman, David Pierce, and

Sukr¨

¸

¨

u Yalc¸ınkaya—my

warmest thanks to them for their hospitality in Turkey on that and

many other occasions.

Acknowledgements: Institutional

An invitation to the conference The Coxeter Legacy: Reflections and

Projections at the University of Toronto had considerable influence

on my work on this book, and I am most grateful to its organizers.

My work on genetic algorithms was funded by EPSRC (grant

GR/R29451).

While working on the book, I used, on several occasions, the

facilities of Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, The

Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, and the

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

Chapter 7 of this book was greatly influenced by the Discussion

Meeting Where will the next generation of UK mathematicians come

from? held in March 2005 in Manchester. The meeting was sup-

ported by the Manchester Institute for Mathematical Sciences, by

the London Mathematical Society, by the Institute of Mathematics

and Applications, and by the UK Mathematics Foundation.