abstract: Let (S, M) be unpunctured surface with marked points, with genus g and b boundary components. A surface algebra arises from a cut of an ideal triangulation of (S, M). In a joint work with Yvonne Grimeland, we associate to any surface algebra and any generating set of the fundamental group of S, an element in Z 2g+b . We show that this element determines the derived equivalence class of the algebra up to homeomorphism of the surface. In this talk I will explain this result, the main ingredients of the proof, and the information we can deduce on the corresponding derived categories.