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This course is part of the MAGIC core.


Algebraic topology studies `geometric' shapes, spaces and maps between them by algebraic means. An example of a space is a circle, or a doughnut-shaped figure, or a Möbius band. A little more precisely, the objects we want to study belong to a certain geometric `category' of topological spaces (the appropriate definition will be given in due course). This category is hard to study directly in all but the simplest cases. The objects involved could be multidimensional, or even have infinitely many dimensions and our everyday life intuition is of little help. To make any progress we consider a certain `algebraic' category and a `functor' or a `transformation' from the geometric category to the algebraic one. We say `algebraic category' because its objects have algebraic nature, like natural numbers, vector spaces, groups etc. This algebraic category is more under our control. The idea is to obtain information about geometric objects by studying their image under this functor. Now the basic problem of algebraic topology is to find a system of algebraic invariants of topological spaces which would be powerful enough to distinguish different shapes. On the other hand these invariants should be computable. Over the decades people have come up with lots of invariants of this sort. In this course we will consider the most basic, but in some sense, also the most important ones, the so-called homotopy and homology groups.


Spring 2017 (Monday, January 23 to Friday, March 31)


  • Tue 09:05 - 09:55
  • Thu 09:05 - 09:55


Algebra: Groups, rings, fields, homomorphisms, examples
Standard point-set topology: topological spaces, continuous maps, subspaces, product spaces, quotient spaces, examples


Homotopy: fundamental group and covering spaces, sketch of higher homotopy groups.
Singular homology: construction, homotopy invariance, relationship with fundamental group.
Basic properties of cohomology (not excision or Mayer-Vietoris yet), motivated by singular cohomology.
Relative (co)homology.
Connecting homomorphisms and exact sequences.
The Mayer-Vietoris sequence.
Betti numbers and the Euler characteristic.
Options for additional content:
Thom spaces and the Thom isomorphism theorem, Cohomology of projective spaces and projective bundles, Chern classes.


Frank Neumann
Phone 01162522722
Photo of Frank Neumann
Profile: My major research areas are algebraic topology and algebraic geometry. I am very much interested in interactions between these subjects and in particular in applications of homotopy theory to algebraic geometry. My recent interests are especially in homotopy and cohomology of moduli stacks. This research has also direct links with arithmetic geometry.


Photo of Turki Alsuraiheed
Turki Alsuraiheed
Photo of Edward Bennett
Edward Bennett
Photo of Mark CARNEY
Photo of Ho Yiu Chung
Ho Yiu Chung
Photo of Lucas Das Dores
Lucas Das Dores
Photo of Joe Driscoll
Joe Driscoll
Photo of Francesca Fedele
Francesca Fedele
Photo of Dominic Foord
Dominic Foord
Photo of Samuel Ford
Samuel Ford
Photo of Afredo Garbuno Inigo
Afredo Garbuno Inigo
Photo of Neil Hansford
Neil Hansford
Photo of Richard Hatton
Richard Hatton
Photo of Zoltan Kocsis
Zoltan Kocsis
Photo of Rami Kraft
Rami Kraft
Photo of James Kulmer
James Kulmer
Photo of James Macpherson
James Macpherson
(East Anglia)
Photo of Amir Mohammad Mostaed
Amir Mohammad Mostaed
Photo of Sam Povall
Sam Povall
Photo of Shi Qiu
Shi Qiu
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Gregory Roberts
Photo of Jack Saunders
Jack Saunders
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Christopher Seaman
Photo of Giulia Sindoni
Giulia Sindoni
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Andrew Turner
Photo of Motiejus Valiunas
Motiejus Valiunas
Photo of Di Zhang
Di Zhang


Algebraic topology from a homotopical viewpointAguilar, Gitler and Prieto
Algebraic topologytom Dieck
Algebraic topology: a first courseFulton
Algebraic Topology BookHatcher
A concise course in algebraic topologyMay
A basic course in algebraic topologyMassey
Topology And GroupoidsBrown
Basic TopologyArmstrong
Elements of TopologyT. B. Singh
Homotopical TopologyFomenko, Fuchs


Clicking on the link for a book will take you to the relevant Google Book Search page. You may be able to preview the book there. On the right hand side you will see links to places where you can buy the book. There is also link marked 'Find this book in a library'. This sometimes works well, but not always. (You will need to enter your location, but it will be saved after you do that for the first time.)


The assessment for this course will be via a single take-home paper in April with 2 weeks to complete and submit online. There will be 3 questions each counting for 25 marks. To pass the exam you will need ≥ 40 points out of the total of 75 points.

MAGIC064 Algebraic Topology Exam Spring 2017

Files:Exam paper
Released: Monday 24 April 2017 (118.2 days ago)
Deadline: Sunday 7 May 2017 (104.2 days ago)

This paper has three questions. All questions carry equal weight and each question is marked out of a total of 25 points. To pass the exam you will need ≥ 40 points out of the total of 75 points.


Files marked L are intended to be displayed on the main screen during lectures.

1-20 lectures1-4.pdfL

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