MATH 216, Geometric Topology

Spring 2020
CRN#: 83921
OLSON 227, MWF 12:10-01:00 PM (Hah. Course is online until further notice- AT)

Prof. Abigail Thompson
Office: 2220 MSB


In these unusual circumstances, I’m picking a textbook and plan to follow it fairly closely, so that everyone will have a coherent resource to fall back on. The text is ``An Introduction to Knot Theory” by W.B. Raymond Lickorish, published by Springer. If you are on campus or can remote access the library, you can legally download a free copy of this book by going to The library uses a vpn client called "pulse secure". Instructions on use can be found here:
You can then download the book from the Springer website here:
(thanks to Cameron for figuring this out). If you are not able to do this let me know and I can get you a copy.

Chapters covered

Hopefully Chapters 1-12, but we may skip some.

Useful reading

Hatcher, 3-manifold topology

Scharlemann, Heegaard Splittings of Compact 3-manifolds
Handbook of Geometric Topology

Rolsen, Knots and Links
Publish or Perish

Hempel, 3-Manifolds
Princeton University Press


I’ll assign homework and there will be a final project. The course grade will depend sixty percent on your homework and forty percent on your final project.


Since we have a small class, I plan to hold class at the scheduled time, probably using zoom. I’ll be sending more info about that during this week. I plan to put the relevant materials online in case you are not able to participate during the scheduled time.


This is going to be an interesting experience for us all, and we’ll need some patience and flexibility. Please feel free to send me questions anytime. I hope you are all staying well and taking care.

Student Resources

SDC Information

UC Davis is committed to educational equity in the academic setting, and in serving a diverse student body. If you are a student who currently receives academic accommodation(s), please submit your SDC Letter of Accommodation to me as soon as possible, ideally within the first two weeks of this course.


My lectures and course materials are protected by U.S. copyright law and by University policy. I am the exclusive owner of the copyright in those materials I create. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own use. You may also share those materials with another student who is enrolled in or auditing this course. You may not reproduce, distribute or display (post/upload) lecture notes or recordings or course materials in any other way —whether or not a fee is charged—without my express prior written consent. You also may not allow others to do so. If you do so, you may be subject to student conduct proceedings under the UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct.


I plan to record class sessions so that students who are not able to attend at the scheduled time will have access to the class materials.