Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Mathematical Sciences


Dr Daniel Mathews



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


This unit will explore the metric structure of curves and surfaces, primarily in 3-dimensional Euclidean space. Concepts of curvature arise naturally, and the major focus will be on the inter-relationships of various definitions of curvature, such as the normal and binormal curvatures of a curve, and the extrinsic, principal and Gaussian curvatures of a surface. Links will be drawn with many other areas of mathematics, including complex analysis, linear algebra, differential equations, and general relativity.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the significance of intrinsic measures of curvature, for curves and surfaces in R^3;

  1. Compute curvature and related quantities, by hand and using computer software;

  1. Understand tensors and their use in geometry;

  1. Communicate mathematical ideas and work in teams as appropriate for the discipline of mathematics.


Final examination (3 hours): 70%
Assignments: 30%

Workload requirements

Three hours of lectures and one 2-hour support class per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study