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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.
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.
Great first book on algebraic topology. Introduces (co)homology through singular theory.

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