PURE MTH 4066 - Pure Mathematics Topic E - Honours

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

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 4066
    Course Pure Mathematics Topic E - Honours
    Coordinating Unit School of Mathematical Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Course Description 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
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr David Baraglia

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    In 2017, the topic of this course is Algebraic Topology.


    The aim of Algebraic Topology is to use algebraic structures and techniques to classify topological spaces up to homeomorphism. Algebraic objects are associated to topological spaces in such a way that "natural" operations on the latter correspond to "natural" operations on the former - continuous maps might correspond to group homomorphisms, homeomorphisms to isomorphisms, etc. In this way, it is often possible to distinguish between different topological spaces by demonstrating that certain associated algebraic objects are not isomorphic. It is rarely the case that the converse can be shown; i.e., that two topological spaces with the same associated algebraic objects are actually homeomorphic, but when this can be done, it is often regarded as a major triumph of the theory.

    Within the realms of algebraic topology, there are several basic concepts that underly the theory and serve as the building blocks and models for subsequent generalisation, the algebraic topology of today being a very broad and highly generalised area that has pervaded much of contemporary mathematics. Such concepts include homotopy, homology and cohomology, and the course will be aimed at providing students with an introduction to these key ideas.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1) understand the basic notions of homotopy theory such as homotopy of maps, homotopy equivalences, contractible spaces, deformation retracts,
    2) define the fundamental group of a (path connected) topological space and be able to compute fundamental groups of some simple examples using for example the Seifert-van Kampen Theorem,
    3) define the singular homology and cohomology groups of a topological space and their relative versions,
    4) understand and work with basic concepts in homological algebra, including chain complexes and long exact sequences,
    5) compute the homology and cohomology of some topological spaces using the Eilenberg-Steenrod axioms,
    6) apply the topological invariants constructed in this course to the solution of various problems in topology, for instance, to prove that two spaces are not homeomorphic.


    - It will be assumed that you have some familiarity with basic point-set topology (or at least metric spaces) and familiarity with basic notions of abstract algebra (groups, rings, fields etc.) However I will give a review of point-set topology in the first few lectures.
    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. The following books are fairly standard:

    • M. Greenberg and J. Harper, Algebraic topology: A first course, (515.14 G798a)
    • A. Hatcher, Algebraic topology, (515.14 H3616a)
    • W. Massey, A basic course in algebraic topology, (515.14 M416b)
    • C. R. F. Maunder, Algebraic Topology, (513.83 M451A)
    • E. H. Spanier, Algebraic Topology, (513.83 S735)

    The book by Hatcher is probably the best of all, and the course is likely to use it as a primary reference. It can be downloaded (free and legally) from http://www.math.cornell.edu/~hatcher/. The book by Greenberg and Harper used to be a very standard reference until the arrival of Hatcher's book. The books by Massey and Maunder are also good reference books that have good explanations. Spanier is comprehensive but very hard to digest.
  • 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
    Lecture 30 90
    Assignments 6 66
    Total 156
    Learning Activities Summary
    1) Review of point-set topology (2 lectures)
    2) Basic notions of homotopy theory (1 lecture)
    3) Fundamental groups and applications (10 lectures)
    4) Homology and cohomology (12 lectures)
    5) Applications of homology and cohomology (5 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
    Assessment task Task type Due Weighting Learning outcomes
    Examination Summative Examination period 70% all
    Homework assignment Formative and summative One week after assigned 30% all
    Assessment Related Requirements
    An aggregate score of 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:

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    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
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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