Fall 2015 – MATH 478-01

Professor Dr. James Rohal
Office Arnett Hall 315
E-mail james.rohal@westliberty.edu
Office Hours See schedule


Topology is a relatively new branch of geometry that studies very general properties of geometric objects, how these objects can be modified, and the relations between them. Three key concepts in topology are compactness, connectedness, and continuity, and the mathematics associated with these concepts is the focus of the course. Compactness is a general idea helping us to more fully understand the concept of limit, whether of numbers, functions, or even geometric objects. For example, the fact that a closed interval (or square, or cube, or n-dimensional ball) is compact is required for basic theorems of calculus. Connectedness is a concept generalizing the intuitive idea that an object is in one piece: the most famous of all the fractals, the Mandelbrot Set, is connected, even though its best computer-graphics representation might make this seem doubtful. Continuous functions are studied in calculus, and the general concept can be thought of as a way by which functions permit us to compare properties of different spaces or as a way of modifying one space so that it has the shape or properties of another. Economics, chemistry, and physics are among the subjects that find topology useful. The
course will touch on selected topics that are used in applications.

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