C*-approximation theory has provided the foundation for many of the most important conceptual breakthroughs and applications of operator algebras. This book systematically studies (most of) the numerous types of approximation properties that have been important in recent years: nuclearity, exactness, quasidiagonality, local reflexivity, and others. Moreover, it contains user-friendly proofs, insofar as that is possible, of many fundamental results that were previously quite hard to extract from the literature.
Indeed, perhaps the most important novelty of the first ten chapters is an earnest attempt to explain some fundamental, but difficult and technical, results as painlessly as possible. The latter half of the book presents related topics and applications – written with researchers and advanced, well-trained students in mind. The authors have tried to meet the needs both of students wishing to learn the basics of an important area of research as well as researchers who desire a fairly comprehensive reference for the theory and applications of C*-approximation theory.
As we attempt to solve engineering problems of ever increasing complexity, so must we develop and learn new methods for doing so. The Finite Difference Method used for centuries eventually gave way to Finite Element Methods (FEM), which better met the demands for flexibility, effectiveness, and accuracy in problems involving complex geometry. Now, however, the limitations of FEM are becoming increasingly evident, and a new and more powerful class of techniques is emerging.