The Fano Conference, September 29-October 5, 2002

The Fano Conference was held in Torino in October 2002. It was organized to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Gino Fano (1871-1952). He was a pioneer in the investigation of 3-dimensional algebraic varieties with the property that its anticanonical system is ample. They are now called (together with their generalizations) Fano varieties. New results concerning these varieties started a new wave of interest in their study in 70’s. The organizers of the conference succeeded in inviting majority of leading specialists in the field to the conference. As a result of their effort, we get a collection of 40 really very interesting papers presenting the contemporary state of the research. This means naturally that the collection is quite indispensable for every specialist in the field of Fano varieties. On the other hand it is obvious that it is not possible to read these papers without certain knowledge of algebraic geometry. I would like to mention only one of these 40 papers. The article written by A. V. Pukhlikov (birationally rigid Fano varieties) clarifies to a great extent the historical development of the subject. There is one additional paper completing the whole collection describing the life of Gino Fano (written by his son Robert Fano).

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