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There is a book named "Infinite Dimensional Analysis: A Hitchhiker’s Guide". I was wondering what "Hitchhiker’s" means as a metaphor in general?

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I think the publisher's description answers this rather well: [This book] is intended for the student or researcher who could benefit from functional analytic methods, but who does not have an extensive background in the subject and does not plan to make a career as a functional analyst. In other words, it's a tongue-in-cheek way of saying it's perhaps not as in-depth as other related works – higher up the a "for Dummies" book, but still with more of a beginner's slant than other tomes might have. – J.R. Jan 12 '13 at 0:27
up vote 10 down vote accepted

I suspect that this is simply a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a cult classic book which the target audience of this text is likely to understand.

The Hitchhiker's Guide page informs us that there was a 1971 travel guide called Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe and that other works since then which are some kind of "Hitchhiker's Guide" are likely inspired either by Douglas Adams' work, or by the original travel guide.

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Thanks! Means easy to understand? – Tim Jan 11 '13 at 20:45
I think that "Hitchhiker's Guide" in the title of (what I take to be) a mathematics text is a kind of "geek handshake", and an indication that the content might be presented in some wacky or entertaining way. – Kaz Jan 11 '13 at 20:51
@Tim, Kaz: Yes - if the title had been intended to imply "easy to understand", it would probably have been called the "Dummies Guide to Infinite Dimensional Analysis". – FumbleFingers Jan 11 '13 at 21:10

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