I begin by making clear a certain point. Functional analysis is an enormous branch of mathematics, so big that it does not seem appropriate to call it “a branch”, it sometimes looks more like another tree. When I will talk below about functional analysis, I will mean “textbook functional analysis” and not “research functional analysis”. By this I mean that I will only refer to the core of the theory which is several decades old and which is more-or-less agreed to be the essential and basic part of the subject.
The goal of this post is to serve as an introduction to the course “Advanced Analysis, 201.2.5401”, which is a basic graduate course on (textbook) functional analysis. In the lectures I will only have time to give a limited description of the roots of the subject and the motivation will have to be brief. Here I will aim to describe what was the climate in which this tree grew, where are its roots and what are its fruits.
To prepare this introduction I am relying on the following sources. First and foremost, my love of the subject and my point of view on it were strongly shaped by my teachers, and in particular by Boris Paneah (my Master’s thesis advisor) and Baruch Solel (my PhD. thesis advisor). Second, I learned a lot on the subject from the book “Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times” by M. Kline and from the notes sections of Rudin’s and Reed-Simon’s books “Functional Analysis”.
And a warning to the kids: this is a blog, not a book, and if you really want to learn something go read the books (the books I mentioned have precise references).