For a postgraduate class on category theory, how fast must one teach category theory? What is the pace one must take? Also, what must one assume that the students know?


  • $\begingroup$ Can you specify if you want to include that in some other course or if that is an course on its own? Maybe you should also add some details about constraints (e.g., is there some course which needs some results from your course?). $\endgroup$ – Markus Klein Mar 18 '14 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ The answer to the first two questions invariably depend on the answer to the third. The answer to the third depends strongly on the institution, geography, phases of the moon, etc... I don't see how one can give any hard-and-fast prescriptions for how a course in category theory must run. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Mar 18 '14 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ From the little I know about the subject matter, it is more an organizing principle than a subject matter on itself. Introduce it slowly whenever the opportunity presents itself in other courses. When the time comes, it will be ripe fruit, ready for picking. $\endgroup$ – vonbrand Mar 18 '14 at 18:19
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    $\begingroup$ @vonbrand - it's definitely a subject matter; there are plenty of us who devote part of our lives to studying it. (-: That said, it is certainly a subject matter that can be difficult to motivate until students have seen some of the other subjects for which it provides an organizing principle. $\endgroup$ – Mike Shulman Mar 18 '14 at 20:18