MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Can anyone recommend a good overview of singularity theory? In particular, quotient singularities...


share|cite|improve this question
Could you provide a little more context? I think your question is too broad to have a useful criterion for an answer. Morse theory can be considered singularity theory, for example, but it's not clear if you want to allow that general a context. – Ryan Budney Mar 6 '12 at 2:00
Stratified Morse Theory is more useful than Morse Theory for the study of singularities via differential topology. Such applications to algebraic geometry are discussed in the canonical reference, which is a book/monograph called Stratified Morse Theory. (I'm making this a comment because, among other things, I don't know any stratified Morse theory.) – Charles Staats Mar 6 '12 at 20:54

A book I found very helpful was the book by János Kollár, named Lectures on Resolution of Singularities. In §2.3, he discusses Quotient Singularities, mostly in the context of resolution for surfaces.

share|cite|improve this answer

Curves and Singularities by J.W. Bruce and P.J. Giblin gives a highly readable overview of basic singularity theory.

share|cite|improve this answer

If you are looking for a more topological treatment of the subject, there is a two-volume Singularities of Differentiable Maps by Arnold, Varchenko and Gusein-Zade.

share|cite|improve this answer

Golubitsky and Guillemin Stable Mappings and their singularities is a fairly canonical reference for the Thom-Mather-Levine thread of ideas, building off of Whitney and Morse's work.

share|cite|improve this answer

Perhaps Young person's guide to canonical singularities by Miles Reid. The connection seems to be that at least for surfaces, canonical singularities are exactly quotient singularities by finite subgroups of SL(2,C), (rational double points). In higher dimension the two types no longer coincide. I am a novice, and merely repeating what I have noted from browsing.

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.