
Math 8061: Smooth ManifoldsFall Semester 2021
Course outline: This course will be an introduction to the geometry and topology of smooth manifolds. We will begin the fall semester with the definitions: what does it mean for a space to (smoothly) look just like R^{n}? We will go on to study vector fields and differential forms (a way to take derivatives and integrals on a manifold). In the spring semester, we'll study the interplay between the geometry of a manifold and certain ideas from algebraic topology. We will review the idea of the fundamental group and introduce homology  and then relate these algebraic notions to the underlying smooth geometry. We will finish with the de Rham and Poincare duality theorems, which neatly tie together homology, cohomology, and the algebra of differential forms. Textbook: Introduction to Smooth Manifolds (Second Edition) by John Lee. In addition to the bookstore, the book is available as a PDF download through the Temple library. We will cover parts of Chapters 116, skipping Chapters 7 and 13. Those chapters will likely seem like too much material for one semester, and they are. I believe Lee's book is very well written, and an excellent reference, but is too encyclopedic to be covered in a linear fashion. We will bounce around to some degree. To get a better intuitive sense of the topics that we'll cover, as well as the order in which we'll cover them, it helps to look at Chapters 18 of A Comprehensive Introduction to Differential Geometry (volume 1) by Michael Spivak. The latter book is not required, but makes a pretty good companion source.
Prerequisites: Concepts of analysis (Math 504142) and abstract algebra (Math 8011). The algebra course is more of a corequisite, as we will not need much algebraic material until the second semester.
Grading Scheme
Homework policy: Homework assignments will be posted on the course webpage, and will typically be due on Thursdays. No late homework will be accepted, but I will drop your lowest homework score. I encourage you to start early and to discuss the problems with other students. By all means come by my office hours if you have trouble with a problem. The only real caveat to group work is that you must write up your own solutions, in your own words. Final Exam: The takehome final exam will be distributed the last day of class, and will be due Friday, December 10. dfuter at temple edu Last modified: Fri Aug 21 13:41:22 PDT 2009 