It has been estimated that, at the present stage of our knowledge, one could give a 200 semester course on commutative algebra and algebraic geometry without ever repeating himself. So any introduction to this subject must be highly selective. I first want to indicate what point of view guided the selection of material for this book. This introduction arose from lectures for students who had taken a basic course in algebra and could therefore be presumed to have a knowledge of linear algebra, ring and field theory, and Galois theory. The present text shouldn't require much more. In the lectures and in this text I have undertaken with the fewest possible auxiliary means to lead up to some recent results of commutative algebra and algebraic geometry concerning the representation of algebraic varieties as in tersections of the least possible number of hypersurfaces and- a closely related problem-with the most economical generation of ideals in Noetherian rings. The question of the equations needed to describe an algebraic variety was addressed by Kronecker in 1882. In the 1940s it was chiefly Perron who was interested in this question; his discussions with Severi made the problem known and contributed to sharpening the rei event concepts. Thanks to the general progress of commutative algebra many beautiful results in this circle of questions have been obtained, mainly after the solution of Serre's problem on projective modules. Because of their relatively elementary character they are especially suitable for an introduction to commutative algebra."
Publisher: Birkhauser Boston