From the Preface by H. Halberstam: “The unexpected arrival of Loo-Keng Hua in Europe in the fall of 1978 was for many of us a romantic event, a legend come to life. What had long been (and had seemed destined to remain) merely a revered name in the mathematical annals of our times assumed suddenly the handsome presence of the man himself, dignified yet jovial, youthful yet wise, serene yet ever questing for new achievements; and we realized how very much we had missed by his thirty years’ absence from the international scene. While the publication of theses “Selecta” from his writings needs no justification beyond what is in them, it will, I hope, serve also as a way of saying a most cordial “welcome back”.
It has been an honor for me to play a small role in producing the Selecta. To select only parts from the imposing whole is automatically to be wrong, and it may well seem in the long run (to quote loosely from a poem of Hua himself) that I have repaid gifts in jade with artifacts of wood. …”