Algebraic topology a first course
To the Teacher. This book is designed to introduce a student to some of the important ideas of algebraic topology by emphasizing the re- lations of these ideas with other areas of mathematics. Rather than choosing one point of view of modem topology (homotopy theory, simplicial complexes, singular theory, axiomatic homology, differ- ential topology, etc.), we concentrate our attention on concrete prob- lems in low dimensions, introducing only as much algebraic machin- ery as necessary for the problems we meet. This makes it possible to see a wider variety of important features of the subject than is usual in a beginning text. The book is designed for students of mathematics or science who are not aiming to become practicing algebraic topol- ogists-without, we hope, discouraging budding topologists. We also feel that this approach is in better harmony with the historical devel- opment of the subject. What would we like a student to know after a first course in to- pology (assuming we reject the answer: half of what one would like the student to know after a second course in topology)?