Symmetry in Mathematics and Physics

The articles in this volume mainly grew out of talks given at a conference held at UCLA in January 2008, which honored V. S. Varadarajan on his 70th birthday. The main theme of the conference was symmetry in mathematics and physics, areas of mathematics and mathematical physics in which Varadarajan has made significant contributions during the past 50 years. Very early in his career he also worked and made significant contributions in the areas of probability and the foundations of quantum mechanics. Topics covered by the articles in this volume are probability, quantum mechanics, symmetry (broadly interpreted in mathematics and physics), finite and infinite dimensional Lie groups and Lie algebras and their representations, super Lie groups and supergeometry (relatively new but active and important fields at the interface between mathematics and physics), and supersymmetry. The latter topic takes on a special importance since one of the first experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will be a test of whether supersymmetry exists in the world of elementary particles. A reprint of an exposition of supersymmetry by one of its founders, B. Zumino, appears in this volume.