Up until recently, Riemannian geometry and basic topology were not included, even by departments or faculties of mathematics, as compulsory subjects in a university-level mathematical education. The standard courses in the classical differential geometry of curves and surfaces which were given instead (and still are given in some places) have come gradually to be viewed as anachronisms. However, there has been hitherto no unanimous agreement as to exactly how such courses should be brought up to date, that is to say, which parts of modern geometry should be regarded as absolutely essential to a modern mathematical education, and what might be the appropriate level of abstractness of their exposition.
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