I'm a computer science graduate student. I recently discovered manifold learning. I think I understand the very basic, high-level concept of nonlinear dimensionality reduction, but I'd like a stronger background. I majored in applied mathematics as an undergraduate, but did not take abstract algebra or topology.
Do I need to read up on algebra and topology to understand/effectively use manifold learning? Regardless, does anyone have any references for a beginner?
Thanks in advance.