Differential Topology and Geometry

Subject MAST90029 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours comprising two 1-hour lectures per week and one 1-hour practice class per week.
Total Time Commitment:

3 contact hours plus 7 hours private study per week.


Both of the following, or equivalent.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013


Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements for this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Email: craigdh@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject extends the methods of calculus and linear algebra to study the geometry and topology of higher dimensional spaces. The ideas introduced are of great importance throughout mathematics, physics and engineering. This subject will cover basic material on the differential topology of manifolds including integration on manifolds, and give an introduction to Riemannian geometry. Topics include: Differential Topology: smooth manifolds, tangent spaces, inverse and implicit function theorems, differential forms, bundles, transversality, integration on manifolds, de Rham cohomology; Riemanian Geometry: connections, geodesics, and curvature of Riemannian metrics; examples coming from Lie groups, hyperbolic geometry, and other homogeneous spaces.


After completing this subject, students will gain:

  • an understanding of the basic notions of Differential Topology, including smooth manifolds, vector bundles, differential forms and integration on manifolds;
  • an understanding of the basic notions of Riemannian Geometry, including connections, curvature and geodesics;
  • the ability to work with smooth manifolds, smooth maps, differential forms and Riemannian metrics;
  • the ability to do geometric calculations in local coordinates;
  • a knowledge of important examples of Lie groups and symmetric spaces;
  • the ability to pursue further studies in this and related areas.

Up to 60 pages of written assignments (60%: three assignments worth 20% each, due early, mid and late in semester), a two-hour written examination (40%, in the examination period).

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:

N. Hitchin. Differentiable Manifolds, available online at: people.maths.ox.ac.uk/~hitchin/hitchinnotes/hitchinnotes.html
M. P. do Carmo, Riemannian Geometry, Birkhäuser (1992).

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

In addition to learning specific skills that will assist students in their future careers in science, they will have the opportunity to develop generic skills that will assist them in any future career path. These include:

  • problem-solving skills: the ability to engage with unfamiliar problems and identify relevant solution strategies;
  • analytical skills: the ability to construct and express logical arguments and to work in abstract or general terms to increase the clarity and efficiency of analysis;
  • collaborative skills: the ability to work in a team;
  • time-management skills: the ability to meet regular deadlines while balancing competing commitments.
Related Course(s): Master of Philosophy - Engineering
Master of Science (Mathematics and Statistics)
Ph.D.- Engineering
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Mathematics and Statistics

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