18.915: Seminar on Algebraic Topology, Fall 2009
Tues-Thurs, 9:30-11:00, 2-131
This is a literature seminar, with a focus on classic papers
in Algebraic Topology. Each student will give one or two talks on each
of three papers, chosen in consultation with me,
and will also read all the papers
talked on in a more cursory way, and write brief reactions to them.
As the seminar progresses, students may follow their own interests
to some extent in the choice of papers.
A list of appropriate papers can be found
here. I also compiled an ideosyncratic extra list.
But these are merely suggestions. I would love for you to find and select
papers outside of this list, as long as you are consulting me.
Prior to your talk, you are required to arrange a practice talk with
one or more classmates. This is something you should consider always doing
when planning to give a talk.
Missing or being late to seminar is not acceptable. Of course, there are
legitimate reasons to miss a seminar - i.e. sickness, etc.
For each paper being presented, all seminar participants (except the
speaker) are required to skim the paper and write a response to the
mathematical content of the paper (few paragraphs, say). Your response should not consist of a
summary of the paper, but rather your reaction to the paper. What did you
think of the methods, what confused you, what do you suppose the author's
motivations were? How does this impact your understanding of the subject?
Responses are due at classtime the day the paper is presented. You have
- Give me a handwritted/TeXed response at classtime.
- Email me a response.
- (I think this is the most exciting option!) Add an entry to the CLASS
I have created a class blog. It is a
private blog, meaning that only the seminar participants can access it. I
encourage you to blog about anything class related, and to comment on each
other's postings. The blog also has some links to course materials, like
papers (at the bottom of the page). You can write latex in the blog - I
wrote a post explaining how to use this feature.
- MathSciNet Find any math
paper and read reviews - sometimes you can even download the article! (This
link works only from MIT or other subscribed computers.)
- Electronic resources from home follow links to VERA
and then JSTOR or MATHSCINET.
VERA also provides electronic access to many current
Goettinger Digitalisierungs-Zentrum and follow links to Mathematica.
- NUMDAM freely downloadable
papers from all fo the major french publications.
- For much earlier work, try
la bibliotheque Gallica-Math.
For more recent work, there are several electronic archives to consult.