In the modern study of Hilbert space operators there has been an increasingly subtle involvement with analytic function theory. This is evident in the analysis of subnormal operators, Toeplitz operators and Hankel operators, for example. On the other hand the operator theoretic viewpoint of interpolation by analytic functions is a powerful one. There has been significant activity in recent years, within these enriching interactions, and the time seemed right for an overview ot the main lines of development. The Advanced Study Institute 'Operators and Function Theory' in Lancaster, 1984, was devoted to this, and this book contains ex- panded versions (and one contraction) of the main lecture prog- ramme. These varied articles, by prominent researchers, include, for example, a survey of recent results on subnormal operators, recent work of Soviet mathematicians on Hankel and Toeplitz operators, expositions of the decomposition theory and inter- polation theory for Bergman, Besov and Bloch spaces, with applic- ations for special operators, the Krein space approach to inter- polation problems, ** and much more. It is hoped that these proceedings will bring all this lively mathematics to a wider audience. Sincere thanks are due to the Scientific Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for the generous support that made the institute possible, and to the London Mathematical Society and the British Council for important additional support. Warm thanks also go to Barry Johnson and the L.M.S. for early guidance, and to my colleague Graham Jameson for much organisational support.
Bloch Functions: The Basic Theory.- A Survey of Some Results on Subnormal Operators.- Optimization, Engineering, and a More General Corona Theorem.- Minimal Factorization, Linear Systems and Integral Operators.- Ha-Plitz Operators: A Survey of Some Recent Results.- Stochastic Processes, Infinitesimal Generators and Function Theory.- Paracommutators and Minimal Spaces.- Decomposition Theorems for Bergman Spaces and their Applications.- Operator-Theoretic Aspects of the Nevanlinna-Pick Interpolation Problem.- Cyclic Vectors in Banach Spaces of Analytic Functions.- Interpolation by Analytic Matrix Functions.