Course goals and description

In this class we will study a theme in algebraic topology, namely to what extent the (homotopy) theory of topological spaces can be approximated by the (algebraic) theory of groupoids. We shall mainly follow Ronnie Brown's book "Topology and Groupoids".
More importantly, this is a student seminar, in other words you will mainly be teaching the material to each other. In fact a main objective of this class is to learn how to present mathematics, both orally and in writing.

Required work

You will give approximately five in-class presentations about assigned sections from the textbook, about 30 minutes in length each. In addition you will write an approximately ten page paper on a topic of your choosing (related to the course material and subject to my approval), on which you will give a further 30 minute in-class presentation.
Please note that attendance in class is mandatory. On the one hand giving a presentation to an empty room is no fun; and on the other hand this is a math department regulation for CI-M classes.


The final grade is based 50% on the paper, and 50% your presentations (including the one on your paper), all with equal weight.
For details like rubrics and deadlines, pleas consult the respective pages.


In addition to the assistance you will receive from your peers and from me, help with presenting and writing is available from the department's mathematical communication specialist, Susan Ruff. You can email her to arrange a time to meet: