In this chapter we acquaint the reader with the theory of approximation of elements of normed spaces by elements of their finite dimensional subspaces. The theory of best approximation was originated between 1850 and 1860 by Chebyshev. His results and ideas have been extended and complemented in the 20th century by other eminent mathematicians, such as Bernstein, Jackson, and Kolmogorov. Initially, we present the classical theory of best approximation in the setting of normed spaces. Next, we discuss best approximation in unitary (inner product) spaces, and we present several practically important examples. Finally, we give a reasonably complete presentation of best uniform approximation, along with examples, the Remez algorithm, and including converse theorems about best approximation. The goal of this section is to present some general results on approximation in normed spaces.
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