Aimed primarily at graduate students and beginning researchers, this book provides an introduction to algebraic geometry that is particularly suitable for those with no previous contact with the subject and assumes only the standard background of undergraduate algebra. It is developed from a masters course given at the Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, and focusses on projective algebraic geometry over an algebraically closed base field.
The book starts with easily-formulated problems of rational curves-and uses these problems to introduce the fundamental tools of modern algebraic geometry: dimension; singularities; sheaves; varieties; and cohomology. The treatment uses as little commutative algebra as possible by quoting without proof (or proving only in special cases) theorems whose proof is not necessary in practice, the priority being to develop and understanding of the phenomena rather than a mastery of the technique. A range of exercices is provided for each topic discussed, and a selection of problems and exam papers are collected in an appendix to provide material for further study.