*Graham Ellis*

- Published in print:
- 2019
- Published Online:
- November 2019
- ISBN:
- 9780198832973
- eISBN:
- 9780191871375
- Item type:
- book

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/oso/9780198832973.001.0001
- Subject:
- Mathematics, Computational Mathematics / Optimization, Geometry / Topology

This book is an introduction to elementary algebraic topology for students with an interest in computers and computer programming. Its aim is to illustrate how the basics of the subject can be ...
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This book is an introduction to elementary algebraic topology for students with an interest in computers and computer programming. Its aim is to illustrate how the basics of the subject can be implemented on a computer. The transition from basic theory to practical computation raises a range of non-trivial algorithmic issues and it is hoped that the treatment of these will also appeal to readers already familiar with basic theory who are interested in developing computational aspects. The book covers a subset of standard introductory material on fundamental groups, covering spaces, homology, cohomology and classifying spaces as well as some less standard material on crossed modules, homotopy 2- types and explicit resolutions for an eclectic selection of discrete groups. It attempts to cover these topics in a way that hints at potential applications of topology in areas of computer science and engineering outside the usual territory of pure mathematics, and also in a way that demonstrates how computers can be used to perform explicit calculations within the domain of pure algebraic topology itself. The initial chapters include examples from data mining, biology and digital image analysis, while the later chapters cover a range of computational examples on the cohomology of classifying spaces that are likely beyond the reach of a purely paper-and-pen approach to the subject. The applied examples in the initial chapters use only low-dimensional and mainly abelian topological tools. Our applications of higher dimensional and less abelian computational methods are currently confined to pure mathematical calculations. The approach taken to computational homotopy is very much based on J.H.C. Whitehead’s theory of combinatorial homotopy in which he introduced the fundamental notions of CW-space, simple homotopy equivalence and crossed module. The book should serve as a self-contained informal introduction to these topics and their computer implementation. It is written in a style that tries to lead as quickly as possible to a range of potentially useful machine computations.Less

This book is an introduction to elementary algebraic topology for students with an interest in computers and computer programming. Its aim is to illustrate how the basics of the subject can be implemented on a computer. The transition from basic theory to practical computation raises a range of non-trivial algorithmic issues and it is hoped that the treatment of these will also appeal to readers already familiar with basic theory who are interested in developing computational aspects. The book covers a subset of standard introductory material on fundamental groups, covering spaces, homology, cohomology and classifying spaces as well as some less standard material on crossed modules, homotopy 2- types and explicit resolutions for an eclectic selection of discrete groups. It attempts to cover these topics in a way that hints at potential applications of topology in areas of computer science and engineering outside the usual territory of pure mathematics, and also in a way that demonstrates how computers can be used to perform explicit calculations within the domain of pure algebraic topology itself. The initial chapters include examples from data mining, biology and digital image analysis, while the later chapters cover a range of computational examples on the cohomology of classifying spaces that are likely beyond the reach of a purely paper-and-pen approach to the subject. The applied examples in the initial chapters use only low-dimensional and mainly abelian topological tools. Our applications of higher dimensional and less abelian computational methods are currently confined to pure mathematical calculations. The approach taken to computational homotopy is very much based on J.H.C. Whitehead’s theory of combinatorial homotopy in which he introduced the fundamental notions of CW-space, simple homotopy equivalence and crossed module. The book should serve as a self-contained informal introduction to these topics and their computer implementation. It is written in a style that tries to lead as quickly as possible to a range of potentially useful machine computations.