Prof Sarah Whitehouse

Position: Professor
Home page:
Telephone: (0114) 2223870
Office: J6c Hicks building
Photo of Sarah Whitehouse


MAS221 Analysis Information Home page


Interests: Algebraic topology
Research group: Topology
Publications: Preprint page, ArXiv, MathSciNet


Past grants, as Principal Investigator
Rigidity Theorems in Stable Homotopy Theory EPSRC
Rings Defined by Systems of Congruences and Applications in Topology Leverhulme
Stable and Unstable Operations in Higher K-Theory EPSRC


I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Warwick in 1994, following a B.Sc. (1990) and M.Sc. (1991) also from Warwick. I spent several years in France, as a Marie Curie post-doctoral researcher at the Université Paris 13 and as a Maître de Conférences at Lens, before coming to Sheffield in 2002.

Research interests:

In algebraic topology we use algebra to extract topological or geometric information about spaces. Among the standard tools used to carry out the translation from topology to algebra are generalised cohomology theories. Given such a theory there is an associated algebra of operations, carrying a wealth of structure and information. Prof Whitehouse is particularly interested in studying the structure and properties of these algebras.

A simple, yet still interesting example, is given by complex K-theory. This theory has a strong geometric flavour and yet there is a rich interplay with other areas, such as number theory.

The interplay between topology and algebra leads to ``up to homotopy'' versions of algebraic structures. Prof Whitehouse is interested in A-infinity and E-infinity algebras, arising when one weakens associativity and commutativity conditions.

Teaching interests:

I am an enthusiastic lecturer with wide experience of undergraduate teaching at all levels. For many years I have taught a popular level 3 Combinatorics module. Other courses I have taught in Sheffield include Algebraic Topology and Groups and Symmetries. Prior lecturing experience includes courses on Metric Spaces and Measure and Integration.
I very much enjoy supervising project work. Level 4 MMath project topics I have supervised include Aperiodic Tilings, Integer Vauled Polynomials and Integer Partitions.