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MA243 Content

Content: Geometry is the attempt to understand and describe the world around us and all that is in it; it is the central activity in many branches of mathematics and physics, and offers a whole range of views on the nature and meaning of the universe.

Klein's Erlangen program describes geometry as the study of properties invariant under a group of transformations. Affine and projective geometries consider properties such as collinearity of points, and the typical group is the full  n\times n matrix group. Metric geometries, such as Euclidean geometry and hyperbolic geometry (the non-Euclidean geometry of Gauss, Lobachevsky and Bolyai) include the property of distance between two points, and the typical group is the group of rigid motions (isometries or congruences) of 3-space. The study of the group of motions throws light on the chosen model of the world.

Aims: To introduce students to various interesting geometries via explicit examples; to emphasize the importance of the algebraic concept of group in the geometric framework; to illustrate the historical development of a mathematical subject by the discussion of parallelism.

Objectives: Students at the end of the module should be able to give a full analysis of Euclidean geometry; discuss the geometry of the sphere and the hyperbolic plane; compare the different geometries in terms of their metric properties, trigonometry and parallels; concentrate on the abstract properties of lines and their incidence relation, leading to the idea of affine and projective geometry.


M Reid and B Szendröi, Geometry and Topology, CUP, 2005 (some Chapters will be available from the General office).

E G Rees, Notes on Geometry, Springer

HSM Coxeter, Introduction to Geometry, John Wiley & Sons