Quadratic and Hermitian Forms

This book contains the proceedings of the 1983 Seminar on Quadratic and Hermitian Forms held at McMaster University, July 1983. Between 1945 and 1965, most of the work in quadratic (and hermitian) forms took place in arithmetic theory (M. Eichler, M. Kneser, O. T. O'Meara). In the mid-sixties, the algebraic theory of quadratic forms experienced a reawakening with the fundamental discoveries of A. Pfister. More recently, there have been signs that the subject, in both its algebraic and arithmetic aspects, is once more in a state of change, reaching out into new and different areas. Since the advent of surgery theory in the late sixties, that subject has been one of the principal users of the theory of quadratic and hermitian forms. Therefore, hermitian $K$-theory was included within the scope of the conference to further the contact between its practitioners and those in quadratic forms.