Sheaf Theory through Examples

Sheaf Theory through Examples

By Daniel Rosiak

An approachable introduction to elementary sheaf theory and its applications beyond pure math.





An approachable introduction to elementary sheaf theory and its applications beyond pure math.

Sheaves are mathematical constructions concerned with passages from local properties to global ones. They have played a fundamental role in the development of many areas of modern mathematics, yet the broad conceptual power of sheaf theory and its wide applicability to areas beyond pure math have only recently begun to be appreciated. Taking an applied category theory perspective, Sheaf Theory through Examples provides an approachable introduction to elementary sheaf theory and examines applications including n-colorings of graphs, satellite data, chess problems, Bayesian networks, self-similar groups, musical performance, complexes, and much more.

With an emphasis on developing the theory via a wealth of well-motivated and vividly illustrated examples, Sheaf Theory through Examples supplements the formal development of concepts with philosophical reflections on topology, category theory, and sheaf theory, alongside a selection of advanced topics and examples that illustrate ideas like cellular sheaf cohomology, toposes, and geometric morphisms.

Sheaf Theory through Examples seeks to bridge the powerful results of sheaf theory as used by mathematicians and real-world applications, while also supplementing the technical matters with a unique philosophical perspective attuned to the broader development of ideas.

The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.


$55.00 X ISBN: 9780262542159 432 pp. | 7 in x 10 in 2 color illus., 75 b&w illus.


  • “Rosiak stimulates a shift in perspective—one that will encourage readers from diverse backgrounds to learn sheaf theory and imagine new applications to science, engineering and philosophy.”

    Justin Curry

    Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at SUNY Albany

  • “Rosiak's visual imagination and his very detailed treatment of a wide array of examples allow the reader to uncover, as Novalis' Novices of Sais, the secrets of Sheaf Theory, perhaps the deepest mathematical construction of the 20th century.”

    Fernando Zalamea

    Universidad Nacional de Colombia

  • “With precise definitions and brimming with creative and illustrative examples, ranging from the Penrose Triangle to image processing, Sheaf Theory through Examples is probably the most pleasant way to learn about sheaves.”

    David Spivak

    Chief Scientist, Topos Institute