# Tagged Questions

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15answers
4k views

### Teaching homology via everyday examples

What stories, puzzles, games, paradoxes, toys, etc from everyday life are better understood after learning homology theory? To be more precise, I am teaching a short course on homology, from ...
11answers
6k views

### Why torsion is important in (co)homology ?

I've once been told that "torsion in homology and cohomology is regarded by topologists as a very deep and important phenomenon". I presume an analogous statement could be said in the context of ...
4answers
3k views

### Torsion in homology or fundamental group of subsets of Euclidean 3-space

Here's a problem I've found entertaining. Is it possible to find a subset of 3-dimensional Euclidean space such that its homology groups (integer coefficients) or one of its fundamental groups ...
5answers
6k views

### What is a cohomology theory (seriously)?

This question has bugged me for a long time. Is there a unifying concept behind everything that is called a "cohomology theory"? I know that there exist generalized cohomology theories, Weil ...
5answers
3k views

### Does homology have a coproduct?

Standard algebraic topology defines the cup product which defines a ring structure on the cohomology of a topological space. This ring structure arises because cohomology is a contravariant functor ...
3answers
5k views

### Spaces with same homotopy and homology groups that are not homotopy equivalent?

A common caution about Whitehead's theorem is that you need the map between the spaces; it's easy to give examples of spaces with isomorphic homotopy groups that are not homotopy equivalent. (See Are ...
10answers
10k views

### What is (co)homology, and how does a beginner gain intuition about it?

This question comes along with a lot of associated sub-questions, most of which would probably be answered by a sufficiently good introductory text. So a perfectly acceptable answer to this question ...
2answers
1k views

### Maps which induce the same homomorphism on homotopy and homology groups are homotopic

I am interested in the following question. Are maps which induce the same homomorphism on homotopy and homology groups homotopic? I am sure the answer is no, however I cannot imagine how to construct ...
3answers
2k views

### For which spaces is homology (or cohomology) determined by the Eilenberg-Steenrod axioms

This is a spinoff of Can anyone give me a good example of two interestingly different ordinary cohomology theories? . By an ordinary homology theory, I mean a functor on topological spaces which ...
15answers
7k views

### “Homotopy-first” courses in algebraic topology

A first course in algebraic topology, at least the ones I'm familiar with, generally gets students to a point where they can calculate homology right away. Building the theory behind it is generally ...
3answers
2k views

### Why is homology not (co)representable?

This is in the same vein as my previous question on the representability of the cohomology ring. Why are the homology groups not corepresentable in the homotopy category of spaces?
3answers
1k views

2answers
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### Are the homology and cohomology Serre spectral sequences dual to each other?

If we use homology and cohomology over a field $k$, if a space has homology and cohomology groups of finite type in each degree, then $H_\ast(X;k)$ is dual to $H^\ast(X;k)$ using the universal ...
0answers
683 views

### Homology classes of subvarieties of toric varieties

Let $X$ be a smooth proper toric variety, $Z\subseteq X$ a smooth subvariety. Is the fundamental class $[Z] \in H_\ast(X) = A_\ast(X)$ nonzero? Background If $X$ is a Kaehler variety, this is ...
3answers
3k views

### Does homology detect chain homotopy equivalence?

Is the following true: If two chain complexes of free abelian groups have isomorphic homology modules then they are chain homotopy equivalent.
3answers
1k views

### Cohomology of associative algebras

Let $A$ be an associative algebra over a commutative ring $k$. I've read statements saying that Hochschild (co)homology is the "right" notion of (co)homology for associative algebras. When $A$ is ...
5answers
802 views

### What fraction of n x n invertible integer matrices contain at least one unit?

The question is simple: What fraction of matrices in $G_n = \text{GL}_n(\mathbb{Z})$ have at least one unit entry (i.e., either $\lbrace\pm 1 \rbrace$)? I'm not sure what the correct measure ...
2answers
1k views

### Simple curves on non-orientable surfaces.

Given an element in the (first) homology group of a surface, I would like to know if it can be represented as a simple closed curve. For orientable surfaces, this is well-known, but I wasn't able to ...
1answer
867 views

### Does the bordism homology theory satisfy the weak equivalence axiom?

There is an interesting and important homology theory called bordism. Briefly speaking, a singular manifold in a space $X$ is a pair $(M, f)$ where $M$ is a closed smooth manifold and $f : M \to X$ is ...
5answers
704 views

### Take contraction wrt a vector field twice and define kernel mod image. Does that give anything interesting?

First, we make the following observation: let $X: M \rightarrow TM$ be a vector field on a smooth manifold. Taking the contraction with respect to $X$ twice gives zero, i.e. $$i_X \circ i_{X} =0.$$...
1answer
465 views

### Ordinal-indexed homology theory?

Back when I was a grad student sitting in on Mike Freedman's topology seminar at UCSD, he posed the following question. Does there exist a good homology theory $H_{\alpha}(X)$ where $\alpha$ is an ...
2answers
714 views

### Are acyclic subcomplexes of finite contractible 2-complexes contractible?

Let $Y$ be a contractible finite simplicial 2-complex. Let $X$ be an acyclic subcomplex of $Y$ (i.e. $X$ connected, $H_1(X)=0$, $H_2(X)=0$). Is $X$ contractible? (Equivalently, is $\pi_1(X)$ trivial?)...
7answers
2k views

### Smooth classifying spaces?

Take G to be a group. I care about discrete groups, but the answer in general would be welcome too. There are the various ways to construct the classifying space of G, bar construction, cellular ...
3answers
1k views

### Computer-aided homology computations

Background I am currently working on the homology of some moduli space and there exists a much simpler chain complex with the same homology. It is a quotient of a bisimplicial complex by a subcomplex....
2answers
483 views

1answer
610 views