### Abstract:

Finding new examples of compact simply connected spaces admitting a Riemannian metric of positive sectional curvature is a fundamental problem in differential geometry. Likewise, studying topological properties of families of manifolds is very interesting to
topologists. The Eschenburg spaces combine both of those interests: they are positively curved Riemannian manifolds whose topological classification is known. There is a second family consisting of the Witten manifolds: they are the examples of compact simply connected spaces admitting Einstein metrics of positive Ricci curvature. Thirdly, there is a notion of generalized Witten manifold as well. Topologically, all three families share the same cohomology ring. This common ring structure motivates the definition of a manifold
of type r, where r is the order of the fourth cohomology group. In 1991, M. Kreck and S. Stolz classified manifolds M of type r up to homeomorphism and dieomorphism using invariants s̄[subscript i](M) and s[subscript i](M), for i = 1, 2, 3. This gave rise to many new examples of nondieomorphic but homeomorphic manifolds. In this dissertation, new versions of the homeomorphism and dieomorphism classification of manifolds of type r are proven. In particular, we can replace s̄₁ and s̄₃ by the first Pontrjagin class and the self-linking number in the homeomorphism classification of spin manifolds of type r. As the formulas of the two latter invariants are in general much easier to compute, this simplifies the classification of these manifolds up to homeomorphism significantly.