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The theory of characteristic classes provides a meeting ground for the various disciplines of differential topology, differential and algebraic geometry, cohomology, and fiber bundle theory. As such, it is a fundamental and an essential tool in the study of differentiable manifolds. In this volume, the authors provide a thorough introduction to characteristic classes, with detailed studies of Stiefel-Whitney classes, Chern classes, Pontrjagin classes, and the Euler class. Three appendices cover the basics of cohomology theory and the differential forms approach to characteristic classes, and provide an account of Bernoulli numbers. Based on lecture notes of John Milnor, which first appeared at Princeton University in 1957 and have been widely studied by graduate students of topology ever since, this published version has been completely revised and corrected.
One of the most cited books in mathematics, John Milnor's exposition of Morse theory has been the most important book on the subject for more than forty years. Morse theory was developed in the 1920s by mathematician Marston Morse. (Morse was on the faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study, and Princeton published his Topological Methods in the Theory of Functions of a Complex Variable in the Annals of Mathematics Studies series in 1947.) One classical application of Morse theory includes the attempt to understand, with only limited information, the large-scale structure of an object. This kind of problem occurs in mathematical physics, dynamic systems, and mechanical engineering. Morse theory has received much attention in the last two decades as a result of a famous paper in which theoretical physicist Edward Witten relates Morse theory to quantum field theory. Milnor was awarded the Fields Medal (the mathematical equivalent of a Nobel Prize) in 1962 for his work in differential topology. He has since received the National Medal of Science (1967) and the Steele Prize from the American Mathematical Society twice (1982 and 2004) in recognition of his explanations of mathematical concepts across a wide range of scienti.c disciplines. The citation reads, "The phrase sublime elegance is rarely associated with mathematical exposition, but it applies to all of Milnor's writings. Reading his books, one is struck with the ease with which the subject is unfolding and it only becomes apparent after re.ection that this ease is the mark of a master.? Milnor has published five books with Princeton University Press.
Surgery theory, the basis for the classification theory of manifolds, is now about forty years old. There have been some extraordinary accomplishments in that time, which have led to enormously varied interactions with algebra, analysis, and geometry. Workers in many of these areas have often lamented the lack of a single source that surveys surgery theory and its applications. Indeed, no one person could write such a survey. The sixtieth birthday of C. T. C. Wall, one of the leaders of the founding generation of surgery theory, provided an opportunity to rectify the situation and produce a comprehensive book on the subject. Experts have written state-of-the-art reports that will be of broad interest to all those interested in topology, not only graduate students and mathematicians, but mathematical physicists as well. Contributors include J. Milnor, S. Novikov, W. Browder, T. Lance, E. Brown, M. Kreck, J. Klein, M. Davis, J. Davis, I. Hambleton, L. Taylor, C. Stark, E. Pedersen, W. Mio, J. Levine, K. Orr, J. Roe, J. Milgram, and C. Thomas.
This volume presents an array of topics that introduce the reader to key ideas in active areas in geometry and topology. The material is presented in a way that both graduate students and researchers should find accessible and enticing. The topics covered range from Morse theory and complex geometry theory to geometric group theory, and are accompanied by exercises that are designed to deepen the reader's understanding and to guide them in exciting directions for future investigation. The editors, M.R. Bridson and S.M. Salamon, have each written an article and are accompanied by A.J. Berrick; M.C. Crabb and A.J.B Potter; M. Eastwood and J. Sawon; M.A. Guest; N.J. Hitchin and J.Seade.
Algebraic topology is a basic part of modern mathematics, and some knowledge of this area is indispensable for any advanced work relating to geometry, including topology itself, differential geometry, algebraic geometry, and Lie groups. This book provides a detailed treatment of algebraic topology both for teachers of the subject and for advanced graduate students in mathematics either specializing in this area or continuing on to other fields. J. Peter May's approach reflects the enormous internal developments within algebraic topology over the past several decades, most of which are largely unknown to mathematicians in other fields. But he also retains the classical presentations of various topics where appropriate. Most chapters end with problems that further explore and refine the concepts presented. The final four chapters provide sketches of substantial areas of algebraic topology that are normally omitted from introductory texts, and the book concludes with a list of suggested readings for those interested in delving further into the field.
These notes are based on the course of lectures I gave at Harvard in the fall of 1964. They constitute a self-contained account of vector bundles and K-theory assuming only the rudiments of point-set topology and linear algebra. One of the features of the treatment is that no use is made of ordinary homology or cohomology theory. In fact, rational cohomology is defined in terms of K-theory.The theory is taken as far as the solution of the Hopf invariant problem and a start is mode on the J-homomorphism. In addition to the lecture notes proper, two papers of mine published since 1964 have been reproduced at the end. The first, dealing with operations, is a natural supplement to the material in Chapter III. It provides an alternative approach to operations which is less slick but more fundamental than the Grothendieck method of Chapter III, and it relates operations and filtration. Actually, the lectures deal with compact spaces, not cell-complexes, and so the skeleton-filtration does not figure in the notes. The second paper provides a new approach to K-theory and so fills an obvious gap in the lecture notes.

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