The Dimension of a Variety

  • David Cox
  • John Little
  • Donal O’Shea
Part of the Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics book series (UTM)


The most important invariant of a linear subspace of affine space is its dimension. For affine varieties, we have seen numerous examples which have a clearly defined dimension, at least from a naive point of view. In this chapter, we will carefully define the dimension of any affine or projective variety and show how to compute it. We will also show that this notion accords well with what we would expect intuitively. In keeping with our general philosophy, we consider the computational side of dimension theory right from the outset.


Irreducible Component Projective Variety Total Degree Tangent Cone Hilbert Function 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Cox
    • 1
  • John Little
    • 2
  • Donal O’Shea
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceAmherst CollegeAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsCollege of the Holy CrossWorcesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer ScienceMount Holyoke CollegeSouth HadleyUSA

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