The Boundary Integral Equation (BIE) method has occupied me to various degrees for the past twenty-two years. The attraction of BIE analysis has been its unique combination of mathematics and practical application. The EIE method is unforgiving in its requirement for mathe- matical care and its requirement for diligence in creating effective numerical algorithms. The EIE method has the ability to provide critical inSight into the mathematics that underlie one of the most powerful and useful modeling approximations ever devised--elasticity. The method has even revealed important new insights into the nature of crack tip plastic strain distributions. I believe that EIE modeling of physical problems is one of the remaining opportunities for challenging and fruitful research by those willing to apply sound mathematical discipline coupled with phys- ical insight and a desire to relate the two in new ways. The monograph that follows is the summation of many of the successes of that twenty-two years, supported by the ideas and synergisms that come from working with individuals who share a common interest in engineering mathematics and their application.
The focus of the monograph is on the application of EIE modeling to one of the most important of the solid mechanics disciplines--fracture mechanics. The monograph is not a trea- tise on fracture mechanics, as there are many others who are far more qualified than I to expound on that topic.