Paul Glendinning gave me permission to quote large fragments of
his papers [183, 185].
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 .
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.
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
warmest thanks to them for their hospitality in Turkey on that and
many other occasions.
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
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.