This is a description of the underlying principles of algebraic geometry, some of its important developments in the twentieth century, and some of the problems that occupy its practitioners today. It is intended for the working or the aspiring mathematician who is unfamiliar with algebraic geometry but wishes to gain an appreciation of its foundations and its goals with a minimum of prerequisites. Few algebraic prerequisites are presumed beyond a basic course in linear algebra.
Karen E. Smith
is Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Her recent publications include The Making of EU Foreign Policy: The Case of Eastern Europe (1999) and co-editor (with Christopher Hill) of European Foreign Policy: Key Documents (2000).