The moduli problem is to describe the structure of the spaceof isomorphism classes of Riemann surfaces of a giventopological type. This space is known as the modulispace and has been at the center of pure mathematics formore than a hundred years. In spite of its age, this fieldstill attracts a lot of attention, the smooth compact Riemannsurfaces being simply complex projective algebraic curves.Therefore the moduli space of compact Riemann surfaces is alsothe moduli space of complex algebraic curves. This space lieson the intersection of many fields of mathematics and may bestudied from many different points of view.
The aim of thismonograph is to present information about the structure of themoduli space using as concrete and elementary methods aspossible. This simple approach leads to a rich theory andopens a new way of treating the moduli problem, putting newlife into classical methods that were used in the study ofmoduli problems in the 1920s.