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Undergraduate Topology: An Intuition-Based and Example Driven Approach


Steve Carlson
June 20-25, 2005
Wooded Glen Retreat and Conference Center
Henryville, IN

Registration Fee $250

Topology is a fascinating area of mathematics with a relatively modern but rich history, tremendous visual appeal, and recent recognition for its applicability in the sciences.  While traditional topology courses are usually taught from a rigorous abstract approach at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level, an intermediate-level course based on the delightful “rubber sheet geometry” aspects of manifolds can offer undergraduate students, including non-mathematics majors as well as mathematics and mathematics education majors, a thorough introduction to important topological ideas.  In such a course, carefully designed examples and innovative projects can develop students’ intuition for the subject and drive them to discover definitions and results.

The primary goal of this workshop is to empower participants to use innovative teaching and learning strategies in the presentation of advanced mathematical topics to students from a variety of majors.  The context in which this goal will be pursued is the teaching of an intermediate-level topology course using an intuition-based and example-driven strategy.  No prerequisite knowledge of topology will be expected of the participants.  All participants will work with innovative strategies developed by the presenter and will be challenged to create some of their own.  By the conclusion of the workshop, participants should be convinced that such approaches can be translated to the teaching of courses in other areas of advanced mathematics and at lower or higher levels.

Participants completing the workshop will:
  • Engage in prepatory on-line activities prior to the on-site program,
  • Receive a complete set of notes from the on-site program,
  • Receive a textbook and supporting materials for teaching an intermediate level topology course,
  • Be motivated to develop new materials to excite students in their advanced mathematics courses,
  • Share ideas with workshop colleagues via an email listserv after the conclusion of the workshop, and
  • Be encouraged to disseminate and publish results of their course development experiences as a follow-up professional enhancement activity.
The on-site program will be held at Wooded Glen Retreat and Conference Center, which is located in Henryville, Indiana, approximately thirty miles north of Louisville, Kentucky. The facility offers conference rooms with state-of-the-art media support; comfortable air-conditioned lodging and dining rooms, and recreation opportunities all within a beautiful and relaxing wooded park-like setting. For more information, please visit the Topology Workshop Page.


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