This book is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking to familarize themselves with research in braid groups, configuration spaces and their applications. Starting at the beginning, and assuming only basic topology and group theory, the volume's noted expositors take the reader through the fundamental theory and on to current research and applications in fields as varied as astrophysics, cryptography and robotics. As leading researchers themselves, the authors write enthusiastically about their topics, and include many striking illustrations. The chapters have their origins in tutorials given at a Summer School on Braids, at the National University of Singapore's Institute for Mathematical Sciences in June 2007, to an audience of more than thirty international graduate students.

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