Robert Bruner

Robert Bruner


313-577-2479 (dept)

313-577-7596 (fax)

1201 FAB


Robert Bruner

Department of Mathematics

I started first grade in a one room schoolhouse outside of Downs, Kansas, where I was the only first grader.   My family then moved to Kansas City, Missouri,  where I attended excellent public elementary and high schools  for second through tenth grade.   I have always been proud of fellow Missourians Mark Twain and Harry S Truman.

I finished high school at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, which opened up an entire world to me.   I had superb instruction and access to resources in math and science, and also in literature and language.  It was psychologically beneficial to be surrounded by people of many different points of view.

When I went to college at Amherst, my interests were mathematics, physics, philosophy and poetry, but I also took courses in anthropology, psychology and religion ( specifically, religions of China and India).

At the University of Chicago, I found algebraic topology, and related fields, which have an especially appealing mix of algebra and topology. Aside from the lively mathematical culture, Chicago was an especially attractive place to attend graduate school, because I could see many of the blues musicians I appreciated play live in small clubs.

I learned late in life (age 40+) that collaboration is an especially effective way to make a greater contribution to mathematics, much more effective than working in isolation.   I have learned an enormous amount from my collaborators.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  •  Algebraic Topology
  • Computations in Stable Homotopy Theory
  • Topological modular forms
  •  Connective K-theory
  •  Red shift
  • Root invariants


Please see my papers, talks, software, and various notes.


  • PhD - University of Chicago, 1977
  • SM - University of Chicago, 1974
  • BA - Amherst College, 1972.

Selected publications

See my publications, talks and software list.

Currently teaching

  • (Winter 2022) MAT 2025:   Elementary Linear Algebra
  • (Winter 2022) MAT 7510:  Algebraic topology I

Courses taught

  • Fall 2019: MAT 2020   Calculus II
  • Fall 2019: MAT 7510   Algebraic Topology I
  • Winter 2020:   on leave at Kungliga Tekniska högskolan (KTH), Stockholm.
  • Fall 2020:  MAT 2250  Linear Algebra
  • Fall 2020: MAT 6500  Point Set Topology
  • Winter 2021:   MAT 2250   Linear Algebra
  • Winter 2021:  MAT 7500   Smooth Manifolds
  • Fall 2021:  MAT 2020   Calculus II
  • Fall 2021:  MAT 2250   Linear Algebra

Older courses:   Web pages of courses taught

Citation index