On the Theory of Groups of Finite Order

W. Burnside
1909 Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society  
IT has been suggested to me that I should take advantage of the present occasion to give an account of the recent progress of the theory of groups of finite order. That very considerable advance has been made in the last twenty, and especially in the last ten years, is undoubtedly the case. That advance, however, has been in a great variety of directions, and it is probably too soon, as yet, to present its different parts in their proper proportion and perspective. It would not, I think, be
more » ... ot, I think, be possible to do at the present time for the theory of groups of finite order what was done so ably for the allied theory of algebraic numbers by Prof. Hilbert in his report of 1897. But a more serious objection to any attempt on my part to give, on the present occasion, an account of the recent advance in the theory is that such an account would certainly be uninteresting to a considerable number of my audience. It is undoubtedly the fact that the theory of groups of finite order has failed, so far, to arouse the interest of any but a very small number of English mathematicians; and this want of interest in England, as compared with the amount of attention devoted to the subject both on the Continent and in America, appears to me very remarkable. I propose to devote my address to a consideration of the marked difference in the amount of
doi:10.1112/plms/s2-7.1.1 fatcat:fmqzp73pfbbc7d6cwarucqc77i