The 8th International Conference on Differential Geometry and Its Applications was held at the Silesian University in Opava (Czech Republic) from August 27th through 31st, 2001. As a significant scientific event, this meeting became a part of celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the Silesian University in Opava. It was taking place under the auspices of the Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic, Mr. Eduard Zeman.

This volume contains lectures and selected contributed papers presented in the following parallel sections of the conference:

  1. Riemannian Geometry (headed by Oldrich Kowalski),
  2. Geometric Structures (headed by Jan Slovak),
  3. Variational Analysis and Geometric Methods in Physics (headed by Demeter Krupka).

The conference was organized by the Silesian University in Opava in collaboration with other Czech universities. The Organizing Committee consisted of Demeter Krupka (chairman), Jarolim Bures, Josef Janyska, Ivan Kolar, Oldrich Kowalski, Olga Krupkova, Michal Marvan, Josef Mikes, Jana Musilova, Jan Novotny, Jan Slovak, and Jiri Vanzura. More than 160 mathematicians and mathematical physicists from 32 countries participated in the program of the conference.

I wish to thank all participants and colleagues who kindly contributed to the conference discussions, and prepared their papers for publication in these Proceedings. I also extend my thanks to the referees. I would like to thank the numerous staff of organizers whose work on the arrangements made the conference a success. I am also grateful to the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic for financial support. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Jan Kot¨lek for careful typesetting, and for his help in completing the volume.

26 August 2002

Demeter Krupka