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Topics in Algebraic Geometry


Admission requirements

Knowledge of the definition and some basic properties of schemes, e.g. as in the mastermath AG2 course. Optimistic students may try taking this in parallel with AG2, combined with lots of reading over christmas. If you plan to try this, please discuss with the teacher (David Holmes) first.


This is a seminar course, where students give most of the talks. The precise form depends on the students participating, and their interests. We focus a lot on examples, and on making concrete some of the many abstract definitions and constructions in the subject (some which you have already met in previous courses, and some new ones).
The course often involves working with the collection of examples online here:

Course objectives

To learn something fun in algebraic geometry, and to get a little closer to research (and have a slightly easier time reading research papers in algebraic geometry). To gain more intuition for some fundamental concepts in algebraic geometry.


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.  

Mode of instruction

Lectures are given by both students and teacher. The details depend a bit on the number of students attending and the topic, but generally you shoudl give two talks during the semester if you want to earn 6ECTS, as well as participating actively in the talks of other students.

Talks are generally 1 hour, followed by a 30 minute problem class (lead by David Holmes).

Students who just want to attend are always very welcome.

Assessment method

Pass/fail. Mainly based on your talks, but there may also be homework or similar. You are expected to attend the talks of other students, ask questions, etc.

Reading list

Depends on the topic, which depends on you! More details will be given near the time, if needed. We generally make substantial use of the Stacks Project (free online resource).


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.