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Equivariant Homotopy and Cohomology Theory
J. P. May, University of Chicago, IL
A co-publication of the AMS and CBMS.

CBMS Regional Conference Series in Mathematics
1996; 366 pp; softcover
Number: 91
ISBN-10: 0-8218-0319-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-0319-6
List Price: US$60
Member Price: US$48
All Individuals: US$48
Order Code: CBMS/91
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This volume introduces equivariant homotopy, homology, and cohomology theory, along with various related topics in modern algebraic topology. It explains the main ideas behind some of the most striking recent advances in the subject. The book begins with a development of the equivariant algebraic topology of spaces culminating in a discussion of the Sullivan conjecture that emphasizes its relationship with classical Smith theory. It then introduces equivariant stable homotopy theory, the equivariant stable homotopy category, and the most important examples of equivariant cohomology theories. The basic machinery that is needed to make serious use of equivariant stable homotopy theory is presented next, along with discussions of the Segal conjecture and generalized Tate cohomology. Finally, the book gives an introduction to "brave new algebra", the study of point-set level algebraic structures on spectra and its equivariant applications. Emphasis is placed on equivariant complex cobordism, and related results on that topic are presented in detail.


  • Introduces many of the fundamental ideas and concepts of modern algebraic topology.
  • Presents comprehensive material not found in any other book on the subject.
  • Provides a coherent overview of many areas of current interest in algebraic topology.
  • Surveys a great deal of material, explaining main ideas without getting bogged down in details.


Graduate students and research mathematicians interested in algebraic topology.


"Absolutely necessary to have this guide-book on the desk ... applies to the advanced student as well as to the educated scientist. The presentation is clear, reliable, informative and motivating ... there is no comparable recent book in algebraic topology ... almost certainly guides further research."

-- Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society

"The exposition and choice of topics by May and his collaborators are well crafted to bring the uninitiated up to speed in a subject that has a long technical past."

-- Bulletin of the AMS

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Equivariant cellular and homology theory
  • Postnikov systems, localization, and completion
  • Equivariant rational homotopy theory
  • Smith theory
  • Categorical constructions; equivariant applications
  • The homotopy theory of diagrams
  • Equivariant bundle theory and classifying spaces
  • The Sullivan conjecture
  • An introduction to equivariant stable homotopy
  • \(G\)-CW\((V)\) complexes and \(RO(G)\)-graded cohomology
  • The equivariant Hurewicz and suspension theorems
  • The equivariant stable homotopy category
  • \(RO(G)\)-graded homology and cohomology theories
  • An introduction to equivariant \(K\)-theory
  • An introduction to equivariant cobordism
  • Spectra and \(G\)-spectra; change of groups; duality
  • The Burnside ring
  • Transfer maps in equivariant bundle theory
  • Stable homotopy and Mackey functors
  • The Segal conjecture
  • Generalized Tate cohomology
  • Twisted half-smash products and function spectra
  • Brave new algebra
  • Brave new equivariant foundations
  • Brave new equivariant algebra
  • Localization and completion in complex bordism
  • A completion theorem in complex cobordism
  • Calculations in complex equivariant bordism
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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