This volume is dedicated to Bill Helton on the occasion of his sixty fifth birthday. It contains biographical material, a list of Bill's publications, a detailed survey of Bill's contributions to operator theory, optimization and control and 19 technical articles. Most of the technical articles are expository and should serve as useful introductions to many of the areas which Bill's highly original contributions have helped to shape over the last forty odd years. These include interpolation, Szego limit theorems, Nehari problems, trace formulas, systems and control theory, convexity, matrix completion problems, linear matrix inequalities and optimization. The book should be useful to graduate students in mathematics and engineering, as well as to faculty and individuals seeking entry level introductions and references to the indicated topics. It can also serve as a supplementary text to numerous courses in pure and applied mathematics and engineering, as well as a source book for seminars.