The papers in these proceedings of the 1986 Areata Summer Institute bear
witness to the extraordinarily vital and intense research in the representation
theory of finite groups in the years since the 1979 Santa Cruz Summer Institute
on finite groups. The confluence of diverse mathematical disciplines has brought
forth work of great scope and depth. Particularly striking is the influence of
algebraic geometry and cohomology theory in the modular representation the-
ory and the character theory of reductive groups over finite fields, and in the
general modular representation theory of finite groups. Noteworthy too are the
continuing developments in block theory and the general character theory of fi-
nite groups. The expository and research aspects of the Summer Institute are
well represented by these papers.
On behalf of the organizers of the meeting—Jonathan Alperin, Charles Cur-
tis, Walter Feit, and myself—I should like to thank all the participants for con-
tributing so much to the success of the meeting. I should also like to thank the
authors of the many papers for their cooperation in making possible the timely
publication of the proceedings.