Algebraic Topology
Math 246B - Spring 2018

Instructor: Carl Mautner
Meeting time: T 11-12:30, Th 3:30-5 in room Surge 284.
Office hours: W 3-4, Th 2-3:30 (or by appointment) in room 255 Surge

Course Description:

This quarter we will begin with the study of vector bundles and their characteristic classes. The idea is to associate natural cohomology classes to vector bundles. This will turn out to be closely related to the "obstruction theory" we began to study last quarter. We will then continue by discussing spectral sequences and possibly other topics.

Text: Milnor and Stasheff, Characteristic Classes.

Grades: The grade will be based on a term paper and writing a referee report (see below).

Term paper: Students will be expected to write a short expository term paper (4-7 pages in length) on a topic in (or very closely related to) algebraic topology. Each student will also be required to referee another student's paper and then make revisions on your own paper according to the referee's comments. I am very happy to discuss ideas for topics or suggest directions. A first version is due Tuesday May 29th. Referee reports will be due Tuesday June 5th. Revisions are due by Tuesday June 12th.

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