The Heat Equation is one of the three classical linear partial differential equations of second order that form the basis of any elementary introduction to the area of PDEs, and only recently has it come to be fairly well understood. In this monograph, aimed at research students and academicsin mathematics and engineering, as well as engineering specialists, Professor Vazquez provides a systematic and comprehensive presentation of the mathematical theory of the nonlinear heat equation usually called the Porous Medium Equation (PME). This equation appears in a number of physicalapplications, such as to describe processes involving fluid flow, heat transfer or diffusion. Other applications have been proposed in mathematical biology, lubrication, boundary layer theory, and other fields. Each chapter contains a detailed introduction and is supplied with a section of notes,providing comments, historical notes or recommended reading, and exercises for the reader.