MAT 401 
Senior Seminar

Introduction to
General Relativity 

Fall 2006 
TTh 11:50-12:40
Physics P-129 

Prof. Claude LeBrun
Office: Math Tower 3-108
Office hours: TTh 10:15--11:15

This seminar will introduce the student to the rôle of space-time curvature in Einstein's theory of gravitation. Topics will include:

This seminar is intended for upper-level mathematics majors who are either in the honors program or are currently applying for graduate school. However, other well-prepared students may be permitted to enroll as well, provided they first secure the professor's explicit permission to do so.


James Foster & J. David Nightingale
A Short Course in General Relativity,
Springer-Verlag, 2005.

The seminar's format will involve both lectures by the professor and presentations by the students. Lively class participation will be expected of everyone enrolled in the seminar. Regular attendance is therefore required. Students who are forced to miss a class should promptly contact the professor via e-mail with an explanation of their absence.

Grades will largely be based on

As an integral part of each student presentation, the professor will normally require that the student later turn in a concisely written proof or calculation addressing a specified issue arising in connection with the presentation. However, this requirement may be waived in cases of exceptionally lucid or frequent presentations.

Cases of chronically inadequate class participation will be treated aggressively with large doses of written homework.

Useful information regarding the course will be posted on the World Wide Web at

The Professor may be reached by e-mail at

 This is the best method for making appointments outside normal office hours.

DSS advisory. If you have a physical, psychiatric, medical, or learning disability that may affect your ability to carry out the assigned course work, please contact the office of Disabled Student Services (DSS), Humanities Building, room 133, telephone 632-6748/TDD. DSS will review your concerns and determine what accommodations may be necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation of disability is confidential.