Jessica Sidman
Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

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Abstract Algebra
M311, Fall 2003


MW 11:00-12:15; 4th hour F 11:00-11:50

Instructor: Jessica Sidman
Office: 402a Clapp Lab
Phone: 538-3251
Email: jsidman
Office hours: TBA

Text: Contemporary Abstract Algebra, Joseph Gallian, 5th ed., Houghton Mifflin.

Additional texts: The books below are not required for the course, but are good sources of additional problems and topics.

Abstract Algebra, David S. Dummit and Richard M. Foote.

Topics in Algebra, I. N. Herstein.

Abstract Algebra: An Introduction, Thomas W. Hungerford.

Goals: You have probably already been introduced to one abstract algebraic structure: the vector space. In this course we will study other structures including groups, rings, and fields. We will devote a lot of time to familiarizing ourselves with examples. We will also discuss why these structures are useful and interesting to mathematicians in areas outside of algebra and to scientists in other fields.

Homework: 35% of final grade. The only way to learn math is to do math. The homework is the most important component of this course. Homeworks will consist of both computational problems involving concrete examples and problems that will entail writing proofs. You will also have the opportunity to explore a topic related to abstract algebra on your own in a short project. Learning to write good proofs requires a lot of practice, but the ability to communicate technical information clearly, logically, and concisely will benefit you throughout your lives.

I encourage you to start working on the homeworks early and to talk to each other and to me if you need help. Each homework is due at the beginning of class on the day it is due. You should use a coversheet for each assignment.

Exams: Midterm I - 20% (October 8), Midterm II - 20% (November 10), Final - 25% of final grade.

 

Last modified August 27, 2003.