Skip to main content
Unit of study_

MATH5341: Topics in Topology (Alt)

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Topology is the mathematical theory of the "shape of spaces". It gives a flexible framework in which the fabric of space is like rubber and thus enables the study of the general shape of a space. The spaces often arise indirectly: as the solution space of a set of equations; as the parameter space for a family of objects; as a point cloud from a data set; and so on. This leads to strong interactions between topology and a plethora of mathematical and scientific areas. The love of the study and use of topology is far reaching, including the use of topological techniques in the phases of matter and transition which received the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. This unit introduces you to a selection of topics in pure or applied topology. Topology receives strength from its areas of applications and imparts insights in return. A wide spectrum of methods is used, dividing topology into the areas of algebraic, computational, differential, geometric and set-theoretic topology. You will learn the methods, key results, and role in current mathematics of at least one of these areas, and gain an understanding of current research problems and open conjectures in the field.

Unit details and rules

Unit code MATH5341
Academic unit Mathematics and Statistics Academic Operations
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

Familiarity with metric spaces (e.g., MATH4061 or equivalent) and algebraic topology (e.g., MATH4311 or equivalent). Please consult with the coordinator for further information.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Laurentiu Paunescu,
Lecturer(s) Gustav Lehrer,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home short release) Type D final exam Final exam
Written exam
70% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Assignment 1
Written assignment
15% Week 06 N/A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Assignment 2
Written assignment
15% Week 12 N/A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Type D final exam = Type D final exam ?

Assessment summary

Further details will be provided in class.

Assessment criteria


The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Representing complete or close to complete mastery of the material;


75 - 84

Representing excellence, but substantially less than complete mastery;


65 - 74

Representing a creditable performance that goes beyond routine knowledge

and understanding, but less than excellence;


50 - 64

Representing at least routine knowledge and understanding over a spectrum of topics and

important ideas and concepts in the course.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes

Attendance and class requirements

There are two lectures and one tutorial each week.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Demonstrate a coherent and advanced understanding of key concepts in topology
  • LO2. Apply fundamental principles and results in topology to solve given problems
  • LO3. Identify and distinguish the proper�es of different types of topological spaces and maps between them
  • LO4. Formulate topological problems in terms of invariants and determine the appropriate framework to solve them
  • LO5. Devise topological solutions to complex problems
  • LO6. Compose correct proofs of unfamiliar general results in topology
  • LO7. Work collaboratively and communicate effectively with peers to interpret analytical problems and identify correct solutions.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This is the first time this unit has been offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.