What is a basic, graduate-level introduction to algebraic topology? I think Hatcher is a great book, but I want to learn the subject from the point of view of simplicial complexes. Primarily, I want to be able to do basic computations (finding fundamental groups, Mayer–Vietoris sequences, van Kampen theorem). More abstract things, like category theory, are not so important to me.


2 Answers 2


Seifert and Threlfall's "A textbook of topology" is all with simplicial complexes. It's a very nice book. It has an excellent treatment of Poincare duality.

The purely simplicial perspective without much category theory is somewhat out of fashion but Seifert and Threlfall is one of the best references for that.

  • $\begingroup$ I browsed through the electronic copy of it, and it looks like exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ +1. There are very few classics of mathematics in fields that are still active that withstand the test of time as introductions. Seifert and Threlfall is definitely one of them. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 3, 2018 at 21:58

There is a recent book by Ferrario and Piccinini: "Simplicial Structures in Topology Simplicial Structures in Topology" that covers the basic material from a very geometric prespective. See http://www.springer.com/mathematics/geometry/book/978-1-4419-7235-4


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