R. S. PHILLIPS I am very gratified to have been asked to give this introductory talk for our honoured guest, Israel Gohberg. I should like to begin by spending a few minutes talking shop. One of the great tragedies of being a mathematician is that your papers are read so seldom. On the average ten people will read the introduction to a paper and perhaps two of these will actually study the paper. It's difficult to know how to deal with this problem. One strategy which will at least get you one more reader, is to collaborate with someone. I think Israel early on caught on to this, and I imagine that by this time most of the analysts in the world have collaborated with him. He continues relentlessly in this pursuit; he visits his neighbour Harry Dym at the Weizmann Institute regularly, he spends several months a year in Amsterdam working with Rien Kaashoek, several weeks in Maryland with Seymour Goldberg, a couple of weeks here in Calgary with Peter Lancaster, and on the rare occasions when he is in Tel Aviv, he takes care of his many students.