MA3F1 Introduction to topology
Term I 2014-2015

Module Description

This module, MA3F1 (Introduction to topology) has the prerequisites MA222 (Metric spaces) and MA249 (Algebra 2).

Topology is the study of shapes: the study of spaces forgetting all notions of geometry. We begin by saying precisely what it means for two spaces \(X\) and \(Y\) to be "the same" in the topological setting. This done we investigate one of the most powerful topological invariants: the fundamental group \(\pi_1(X)\). The justly named fundamental group is related, inside topology, to covering spaces and related, for example in number theory, to Galois groups.

The material covered in this module is directly relevant to MA3H5 (Manifolds), MA3H6 (Algebraic topology), and many others.


The schedule has a planned list of topics, organized by lecture. We will change the schedule as necessary, as we work through the material. Links to example sheets will be posted week-by-week.

Instructor and TAs

Name Building/Office E-mail Phone Office Hours
Saul Schleimer 38/B2.14 s dot schleimer at warwick dot ac dot uk 024 7652 3560 Wednesday 13:00-14:00
Mark Bell 38/B0.15 m dot c dot bell at warwick dot ac dot uk NA NA
Simon Markett 38/B2.01 s dot a dot markett at warwick dot ac dot uk NA NA

Class meetings

Activity Led by Time Building/Room
Lecture Schleimer Monday 11:00-12:00 38/MS.01
Support class Markett Monday 15:00-16:00 34/LIB2
Lecture Schleimer Tuesday 12:00-13:00 23/HO.51
Support class Bell Tuesday 13:00-14:00 38/B3.03
Lecture Schleimer Wednesday 9:00-10:00 38/MS.01

Reference materials

We will closely follow the first chapter of the book Algebraic topology, by Allan Hatcher. The book is available from the website above, and can also be purchased from the university bookshop or on-line.

Example sheets

See the schedule for the example sheets.

In addition to the exercises prepared for this class, please note that Hatcher's book contains many interesting exercises. He has also given additional exercises. Here is the web-page for this module as taught by Professor Mond in 2012.


The exam will be 85% of your mark. The exam will be closed book. Here are the exam papers for this module from the last four years.

Assessed work

Assessed work will be 15% of your mark. Of this, 2% (at most) may be earned every week (starting the second week) by turning in a single worked exercise. Please let me (Saul) know if any of the problems are unclear or have typos.

Homework solutions must be placed in the dropoff box (near the front office), by 15:00 on Mondays. No late work will be accepted. Please write your name, the date, and the problem you are solving at the top of the page. If you collaborate with other students, please include their names. Solutions typeset using LaTeX are preferred. Please limit your solution to one piece of paper -- if more space is needed then write out a complete solution and then rewrite with conciseness in mind.


Please tell me in person, or via email, about any errors on this website or made in class. I am especially keen to hear about mathematical errors, gaffes, or typos made in lecture or in the example sheets.