Originally published in 1977 this volume is concerned with the relationship between symmetries of a linear second-order partial differential equation of mathematical physics the coordinate systems in which the equation admits solutions via separation of variables and the properties of the special functions that arise in this manner. Some group-theoretic twists in the ancient method of separation of variables that can be used to provide a foundation for much of special function theory are shown. In particular it is shown explicitly that all special functions that arise via separation of variables in the equations of mathematical physics can be studied using group theory.