PURE MTH 7066 - Pure Mathematics Topic E

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

Please contact the School of Mathematical Sciences for further details, or view course information on the School of Mathematical Sciences web site at http://www.maths.adelaide.edu.au

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PURE MTH 7066
    Course Pure Mathematics Topic E
    Coordinating Unit Mathematical Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Guo Chuan Thiang

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    In 2018, the topic of this course is Introduction to topological K-theory.


    The letter 'K' in K-theory comes from the German word Klasse, which means "class". Everyone already knows at least one K-theory group. Natural numbers classify vector spaces via the dimension, while an integer, being a difference of two natural numbers, measures the difference between two vector spaces. This is an example of Grothendieck's construction applied to obtain the K-theory of a point.

    In the 1960s, Atiyah and Hirzebruch introduced topological K-theory, to classify bundles of vector spaces parametrised by an arbitrary topological space. Their theory turned out to be extremely rich, having deep connections to many areas of modern mathematics such as index theory, differential geometry, operator algebras, and representation theory. In noncommutative geometry, one does not even require a topological space to define and utilise K-theory! Because of its multi-facetedness, K-theory has also found profound applications in string theory, fundamental particle physics, and condensed matter physics.

    The aim of this course is to provide a gentle first introduction to the vast and interdisciplinary subject of K-theory, as an invitation to further study and more abstract treatments of the subject. The target audience is final-year undergraduates and beginning graduate students. The approach will be quite concrete, with only the simplest version of K-theory to be discussed.

    - Linear algebra (inner product spaces, adjoints, traces, determinants), abstract algebra (groups and rings), basic point-set topology (compactness, connectedness, metric spaces, quotient and subspace topplogies) and analysis. A review will be done at the beginning of the course.
    - No knowledge of smooth manifolds, algebraic topology, differential forms or functional analysis is assumed, but it will be helpful to know its rudiments.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1) Demonstrate an understanding of the basic theory of vector bundles
    2) Demonstrate familiarity with a range of examples within this theory
    3) Demonstrate an understanding of the definition of the K-groups for a topological space
    4) Apply Bott periodicity to compute some K-theory groups
    5) Formulate and prove an index theorem for Toeplitz operators
    6) Apply the theory in the course to solve a variety of problems at an appropriate level of difficulty
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Recommended Resources
    There is no textbook for the course, but the following books at beginning graduate level are useful.

    • E. Park, Complex topological K-theory
    • A. Hatcher, Vector bundles and K-theory
    • N.E. Wegge-Olsen, K-theory and C*-algebras: A Friendly Approach
    • M.F. Atiyah, K-theory

    For differential forms and algebraic topology,
    • I.E. Madsen and J. Tornehave, From calculus to cohomology
    • A. Hatcher, Algebraic topology
    • J.W. Milnor, Topology from the differentiable viewpoint
    • R. Bott and L.W. Tu, Differential forms in algebraic topology
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The lecturer guides the students through the course material in 30 lectures. Students are expected to engage with the material in the lectures. Interaction with the lecturer and discussion of any difficulties that arise during the lecture is encouraged. Fortnightly homework assignments help students strengthen their understanding of the theory and their skills in applying it, and allow them to gauge their progress.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Activity                                       Quantity                                  Workload Hours

    Lectures                                           30                                                  90 
    Assignments                                     6                                                    66
    Total                                                                                                    156

    Learning Activities Summary
    - What is K-theory about? (1 lecture)
    - Preliminaries on algebra and topology (2 lectures)
    - Vector bundles, basic homotopy theory, exact sequences and basic category theory (4 lectures)
    - Definition of the K-theory functors (8 lectures)
    - Bott periodicty and the cyclic exact sequence of K-theory (6 lectures)
    - Hilbert spaces, Fredholm operators, Toeplitz index theorem (6 lectures)
    - Further topics and applications (3 lectures)
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Component Weighting  Outcomes Assessed
    Assignments 30% All
    Exam 70% All
    Assessment Related Requirements
    An aggregate score of at least 50% is required to pass the course.
    Assessment Detail
    There will be a total of 6 homework assignments, due one week after they are assigned. Each will cover material from the lectures, and in addition, will sometimes go beyond that so that students may have to undertake some additional research.

    Homework assignments must be given to the lecturer in person or emailed as a pdf file. Failure to meet the deadline without reasonable and verifiable excuse may result in a significant penalty for that assignment.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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