Just in case you somehow got here without going through the opening lines of the home page of these notes: I wrote them for use by undergraduate students of mathematics, particularly at the University of Utah, and I'm pretending to be talking to a class of such students. If you are not in that category you may on occasion be bewildered by phrases and statements that obviously cannot possibly apply to you.
Some of the statements in these pages may be controversial. That's OK. While of course I believe what I say, these views are not endorsed by the University of Utah Mathematics department, nor are they shared by all or perhaps even just some of my colleagues.
I've tried to keep the number of links to outside pages small, since you can't rely on these staying on line and not getting significantly modified. If you find any links that have expired I'd very much appreciate if you could let me know!
One of the most intriguing aspects of the the world wide web is that it can be searched. If, like me, you have an unusual last name you are lucky, people will tend to be able to find your pages. However, here's another possibility that may become wide spread. You can mark your pages by writing a made up word in it. As long as nobody else uses the same word, once the various search engines have visited your site, your page can be found by searching for that word. That's why you see the word PA1UM (Peter Alfeld, Understanding Math) everywhere in these pages. Of course, one has to know the key word in the first place. Perhaps some day we will have a globally coordinated assignment of such key words and searchable catalogs!