Algebraic Topology with Applications in Combinatorics

Bojan Mohar (Simon Fraser University)

Jan 1, 2021 — Jun 1, 2021

About the course

This is a basic level graduate course with introduction to algebraic topology and its applications in combinatorics, graph theory and geometry. The course will cover introductory chapters from [1] and parts of [2]. With a guest lecture by Nati Linial from Israel, we will also touch some recent topics like the topology of random simplicial complexes. The instructor expects that students with interests in topology and those with interests in discrete mathematics and geometry would find the course suitable.


This course is available for registration under the Western Dean's Agreement. To register, you must obtain the approval of the course instructor and you must complete the Western Dean's agreement form , using the details below. The completed form should be signed by your home institution department and school of graduate studies, then returned to the host institution of the course.

Enrollment Details

Course Name
Math 841 Topology: Special Topics
Jan 1, 2021 — Jun 1, 2021
Course Number
MATH 841
Section Number
Section Code


For help with completing the Western Dean’s agreement form, please contact the graduate student program coordinator at your institution. For more information about the agreement, please see the Western Dean's Agreement website

Other Course Details

Reference texts

  • [1] A. Hatcher, Algebraic Topology, Cambridge University Press, 2002. (Available for free download from
  • [2] J. Matousek, Using the Borsuk–Ulam Theorem - Lectures on Topological Methods in Combinatorics and Geometry, Springer, 2003.

Course Delivery

The weekly schedule will consist of four 50-minute lectures. Two to three of them will be giving new material, with some details left for the students to cover by themselves from the provided textbooks. The remaining weekly time will be used for tutorials, covering problems and examples, explaining details of proofs, and having students work in small groups and report on their solutions. The online platform used will be Zoom, with synchronous teaching that will be recorded for asynchronous viewing.

Grading Scheme

  • Homework 20%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Final 50%

The instructor reserves the right to limit the number of students from outside of SFU. He will allow for additional students who will not take the course for credit (their homework and exams will not be graded).