
WSE 187, Spring 2009 Curves and
Surfaces Moira Chas and Katherine Poirier
moira at
math.sunysb.edu kpoirier at gc.cuny.edu


Meeting at Math Tower, P131 Mondays and
Fridays 12:50 to 2:10pm Session 1, Section 2
January
30, February 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23



We will start by exploring surfaces and curves from a
topological point of view. Topology is "rubber sheet
geometry", in which objects are equal if they can be
deformed one into each other by stretching or compressing.
A
surface is a space of two dimensions: length and width. A curve
is a onedimensional space, a piece of string living in a
surface. We will make a first approximation to the concept of
dimension.
By making concrete constructions with paper
and scissors we will study properties of surfaces such as
orientability, genus and number of boundary components. We will
see how words in certain alphabets can be used to encode
properties of surfaces and curves. We may also investigate how
surfaces appear in the "real world" as the
configuration spaces of certain machines.
If time
permits, we will explore another amazing mathematical object,
the hyperbolic plane, and the role this object plays in the
understanding of surfaces.



Homework for Feb 2th

Write an email to Kate and Moira, including your
mathematical background and interests, and your hopes, fears
and ideas about this course.

Homework for Feb 16h


Homework for Feb 13th


Homework for Feb 16th


Final Project



