Jacques Tits was awarded the Wolf Prize in 1993 and the Abel Prize (jointly with John Thompson) in 2008. The impact of his contributions in algebra, group theory and geometry made over a span of more than five decades is incalculable. Many fundamental developments in several fields of mathematics have their origin in ideas of Tits. A number of Tits’ papers mark the starting point of completely new directions of research. Outstanding examples are papers on quadratic forms, on Kac–Moody groups and on what subsequently became known as the Tits-alternative.
These volumes contain an almost complete collection of Tits’ mathematical writings. They include, in particular, a number of published and unpublished manuscripts which have not been easily accessible until now. This collection of Tits’ contributions in one place makes the evolution of his mathematical thinking visible. The development of his theory of buildings and BN-pairs and its bearing on the theory of algebraic groups, for example, reveal a fascinating story. Along with Tits’ mathematical writings, these volumes contain biographical data, survey articles on aspects of Tits’ work and comments by the editors on the content of some of his papers.
With the publication of these volumes, a major piece of 20th century mathematics is being made available to a wider audience.