''Lusternik-Schnirelmann category is like a Picasso painting. Looking at category from different perspectives produces completely different impressions of category's beauty and applicability.'' --from the Introduction Lusternik-Schnirelmann category is a subject with ties to both algebraic topology and dynamical systems. The authors take LS-category as the central theme, and then develop topics in topology and dynamics around it. Included are exercises and many examples. The book presents the material in a rich, expository style. The book provides a unified approach to LS-category, including foundational material on homotopy theoretic aspects, the Lusternik-Schnirelmann theorem on critical points, and more advanced topics such as Hopf invariants, the construction of functions with few critical points, connections with symplectic geometry, the complexity of algorithms, and category of $3$-manifolds. This is the first book to synthesize these topics. It takes readers from the very basics of the subject to the state of the art. Prerequisites are few: two semesters of algebraic topology and, perhaps, differential topology. It is suitable for graduate students and researchers interested in algebraic topology and dynamical systems.
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