**Aims & Learning Objectives:**
**Aims: **The course will provide a solid introduction to one of the Big Machines of modern mathematics which is also a major topic of current research. In particular, this course provides the necessary prerequisites for post-graduate study of Algebraic Topology.
**Objectives: **
At the end of the course, the students will be conversant with the basic ideas of homotopy theory and, in particular, will be able to compute the fundamental group of several topological spaces.
**Content: ** Topics will be chosen from the following:
Paths, homotopy and the fundamental group. Homotopy of maps; homotopy equivalence and deformation retracts. Computation of the fundamental group and applications: Fundamental Theorem of Algebra; Brouwer Fixed Point Theorem.
Covering spaces. Path-lifting and homotopy lifting properties. Deck translations and the fundamental group. Universal covers.
Loop spaces and their topology. Inductive definition of higher homotopy groups. Long exact sequence in homotopy for fibrations.
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