The accomplishment of this book relied on many people's contributions and assistances. It is my pleasure to acknowledge with gratitude the insights and excellent contributions provided by all the authors. Thanks are also due to other reviewers, including Yufei Yuan from McMaster University (Canada) and Mats Arvedson and Ola Eriksson from the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden).
Special thanks also go to all the staff at Idea Group Publishing, particularly to Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, Jan Travers, Michele Rossi, Amanda Appicello, Carrie Skovrinskie, and Jennifer Sundstrom.
I would like to acknowledge all of the people who encouraged me in this project, especially Professors Kevin O'Brien and Rod Oxenberry, Associate Professor Graham Arnold, Dr. James Brancheau, Ms. Marilyn Ling, and Mr. Andrew Chen.
Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my family members for their love and support throughout this project. My father may rest in peace , knowing of this achievement.
Nan Si Shi, PhD, Editor
15 June 2003 (Father's Day)