About these proceedings
In September 2000 a Summer School on "Factorization and Integrable Systems" was held at the University of Algarve in Portugal. The main aim of the school was to review the modern factorization theory and its application to classical and quantum integrable systems. The program consisted of a number of short courses given by leading experts in the field. The lecture notes of the courses have been specially prepared for publication in this volume.
The book consists of four contributions. I. Gohberg, M.A. Kaashoek and I.M. Spitkovsky present an extensive review of the factorization theory of matrix functions relative to a curve, with emphasis on the developments of the last 20-25 years. The group-theoretical approach to classical integrable systems is reviewed by M.A. Semenov-Tian-Shansky. P.P. Kulish surveyed the quantum inverse scattering method using the isotropic Heisenberg spin chain as the main example.