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- ISBN: 9780691081229 | 0691081220
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 8/1/1974
The theory of characteristic classes began in the year 1935 with almost simultaneous work by Hassler Whitney in the United States and Eduard Stiefel in Switzerland. Stiefel's thesis, written under the direction of Heinz Hopf, introduced and studied certain 'characteristic' homology classes determined by the tangent bundle of a smooth manifold.