Learning about Topology Summary

Monday - Friday, July 11 - 15, 2011

The group continues to attend the topology course being developed by the Undergraduate Faculty Program. This week the first half of the course concluded with results about classification of surfaces; then the second half began with an introduction to Knot Theory. In addition to the lectures, the group is working on homework problems from the preliminary notes associated to the course. The working group continues to give feedback to Professor Erica Flapan every day, though we have found that a delegation of two teachers along with either David or Jim is provides sufficient feedback so that the rest of the group can work on problems for the entire hour. This week, there were several spirited discussions in the group as we attempted to figure out the nature of the shapes produced by various gluings and tapings of polygons and cubes.

One important decision by the group is that the teachers will not be creating K12 topology lessons but will continue working on problems and trying to better understand the content of the course. Given that the course itself -- when finished -- will be of an elementary nature, the feedback is already something of a project in itself. In addition, two members of the group will be working on a project of a different nature -- an essay.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under DMS-0940733 and DMS-1441467. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.