This page focuses on the course 18.904 Seminar in Topology as it was taught by Dr. Andrew Snowden in Spring 2011.
Seminar in Topology is an undergraduate math seminar. As with all such seminars, the majority of lectures for this class are given by the students as part of their coursework. Students also write a final expository paper. This particular seminar serves as an introduction to algebraic topology at an advanced undergraduate level.
Additional information and resources related to MIT's undergraduate math seminars and teaching mathematical communication are available on the MathDL Mathematical Communication website.
In the following pages, Dr. Andrew Snowden discusses specific aspects of his experience leading this course.
Every spring semester
Room 1 of 1
Student talks and practice talks took place in this classroom, which seats 35.
The students were a mix of sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
All students were math majors.
Enrollment in undergraduate math seminars is limited to 12 in order to give students ample opportunity to present. Preference is given to mathematics majors. Beyond that, priority is given to students who have not taken the course before and to students who are closer to degree completion.
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
Creating the syllabus and other course materials, coordinating the course, helping students with presentation preparation, providing feedback, grading.
Working with the lead instructor to brainstorm about course structure and materials, give feedback at practice presentations, develop a rubric for the final paper, and give feedback on paper drafts.