Universität Bielefeld
50 Jahre
Fakultät für Mathematik


Die Zeitschrift "K-Theory" wurde 1986 von Prof. Dr. Anthony Bak in Bielefeld gegründet. Amnon Neeman schreibt dazu unter Mitwirkung von Guillermo Cortiñas, Max Karoubi, Jonathan Rosenberg and Charles Weibel (alle sind Herausgeber des Nachfolgejournals "Annals of K-Theory"):

"The K–theory group at Universität Bielefeld was top–class from the start—at the outset the university already had such major players as Andreas Dress, Jens Mennicke and Friedhelm Waldhausen, and these were later joined by Anthony Bak and Ulf Rehmann. To mention only one of the towering, groundbreaking developments in the field that was born in Bielefeld: Waldhausen's K–theory of spaces was created in the papers Algebraic K–theory of generalized free products I, II, III and IV from 1978, and the long article Algebraic K–theory of spaces from 1985—all of them products of Bielefeld.

At the 1986 ICM in Berkeley, Bak announced the launching of a new journal called K Theory. He assembled a constellation of luminaries in the field for the inaugural editorial board, but in practice he did all the hard work: he solicited papers, handled the vast majority of the submissions, and reserved to himself the final decision on any of the submissions handled by the other editors. The journal started appearing in 1987, with the first issue already containing the seminal papers The free loop space and the algebraic K–theory of spaces by G. E. Carlsson, R. L. Cohen, T. Goodwillie and W. c. Hsiang, A new look at KK-theory by J. Cuntz, Semi-invariants in surgery by J. F. Davis and A. A. Ranicki and Torsion in K$_2$ of fields by A. A. Suslin. Bear in mind that the late 1980s were not an easy time to start a new journal—this was the period when libraries around the world started reacting to skyrocketing prices by cutting submissions. It took a tremendous level of dedication and energy to achieve what Bak did—from Bielefeld.

Bak consulted the experts frequently and freely—he was open to advice and sought it from the leading mathematicians of the day. But the energy and drive that he put into the enterprise were all his own."