Undergraduate Course: Category Theory (MATH11237)
Course Outline
School  School of Mathematics 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate) 
Availability  Available to all students 
SCQF Credits  10 
ECTS Credits  5 
Summary  A first course in category theory, covering the basic concepts of the subject and their relevance to other parts of mathematics
First course in category theory covering the following topics:
 Categories, functors and natural transformations
 Universal properties
 Adjunctions, limits and representability
 Uses of categorical concepts in other parts of mathematics 
Course description 
Category theory begins with the observation that the collection of all mathematical structures of a given type, together with all the maps between them, is itself a nontrivial structure which can be studied in its own right. Since the birth of category theory in the 1940s, this mild observation has had great success in unifying and systematizing broad swathes of mathematics. It has now become an indispensable tool in algebra, topology and geometry, and its applications even reach into parts of computer science, physics and other branches of science.
Category theory provides a bird's eye view of mathematics, revealing patterns that are invisible from ground level. But it is not all about big concepts: as for any other subject, learning category theory involves acquiring some technical skills. Central to this course is the notion of universal property, made precise through the related concepts of adjoint functors, limits and representability. Students taking this course will learn both the relevance of category theory to other parts of mathematics and a rigorous body of definitions, theorems and proofs.
Syllabus:
1. Categories, functors and natural transformations
2. Adjoints
3. Representables
4. Limits
5. Adjoints, representables and limits
6. (Optional) Further topics in category theory (e.g. abelian categories, toposes, monads, enriched categories, monoidal categories)

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Prerequisites 
Students MUST have passed:
Honours Algebra (MATH10069)

Corequisites  
Prohibited Combinations  
Other requirements  The course will feature many examples drawn from algebra and topology. Although it is not essential to understand all of these examples, students who have taken some Level 10/11 courses in algebra (e.g. MATH10079 Group Theory) or topology (e.g. MATH10076 General Topology) will be at an advantage. 
Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  Visiting students are advised to check that they have studied the material covered in the syllabus of each prerequisite course before enrolling. 
High Demand Course? 
Yes 
Course Delivery Information

Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1)

Quota: None 
Course Start 
Semester 1 
Timetable 
Timetable 
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) 
Total Hours:
100
(
Lecture Hours 22,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
69 )

Assessment (Further Info) 
Written Exam
80 %,
Coursework
20 %,
Practical Exam
0 %

Additional Information (Assessment) 
Coursework 20%, Examination 80% 
Feedback 
Not entered 
Exam Information 
Exam Diet 
Paper Name 
Hours & Minutes 

Main Exam Diet S1 (December)  Category Theory (MATH11237)  2:00  
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
 Work with the core concepts of category theory and give examples of how they appear in other parts of mathematics.
 Understand and explain the relationship between adjointness, limits and representability.
 Work with theorems in category theory, explain key steps in proofs, and summarize proofs.
 Solve unseen problems in category theory, giving arguments at an appropriate level of detail.

Reading List
Tom Leinster, Basic Category Theory. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Emily Riehl, Category Theory in Context. Dover, 2016. 
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 
Not entered 
Keywords  CatTH,Category Theory,Foundations 
Contacts
Course organiser  Dr Thomas Leinster
Tel: (0131 6)50 5057
Email: Tom.Leinster@ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Mr Martin Delaney
Tel: (0131 6)50 6427
Email: Martin.Delaney@ed.ac.uk 

