Friday, January 01, 2010


Well, it's a new year. And I've made a good start of it, I think.

This morning, after my first run of 2010, I spent a couple of hours getting a couple more days ahead in Topology (the Joint Meetings are exing out the second half of the first week of class, so I'm doing all that I can to get some traction before the semester actually gets started, since things will be getting crazy quickly once we're underway).

I've now posted the first two handouts and the first two homework sets, which should take us through the end of the second week of class.

I'm happy that this course is a "terminal" course: I'm simply not sure how "far" we'll get given the typical student-centered design of the class. I am, however, taking steps to "streamline" the flow of the course so as to maximize the material we'll be able to explore.

For instance, I'm making efforts to bring "later" concepts in early on so that students are introduced to them sooner rather than later. For instance, the second homework set already includes the definition of the Hausdorff separation condition, which Munkres doesn't address until over a hundred pages in, and I'm already weaving together treatment of continuity and closed sets, both of which come a bit later in Munkres as well.

Also, I'm taking a "just-in-time" approach to review of ideas from set theory and relations (i.e., material from MATH 280), putting off such review until it's needed. Most of that review will probably take place in the homework sets.

I'm happy about the way the course is coming together so far, and I'm eager to get underway!

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