About this book
It is a privilege for me to write a foreword for this unusual book. The book is not primarily a reference work although many of the ideas and proofs are explained more clearly here than in any other source that I know. Nor is this a text of the customary sort. It is rather a record of a particular course and Gordon Whyburn's special method of teaching it. Perhaps the easiest way to describe the course and the method is to relate my own personal experience with a forerunner of this same course in the academic year 1937-1938. At that time, the course was offered every other year with a following course in algebraic topology on alternate years. There were five of us enrolled, and on the average we knew less mathematics than is now routinely given in a junior course in analysis. Whyburn's purpose, as we learned, was to prepare us in minimal time for research in the areas in which he was inter ested. His method was remarkable.
Area Metrization theorem Topologie algebra algebraic topology average boundary element method mathematics minimum proof time topology