Math 385, Fall 2014

Introduction to Abstract Algebra


Course description: This course, together with Real Analysis, is the heart and soul of the pure mathematics major. The course will begin with an intense study of groups and abstraction of the ideas of addition and multiplication. We will look a great deal at group structures and homomorphisms between groups, as well as their applications. We will continue with the study of rings and fields, which add more structure to the idea of a group, and we will look closely at how these structures relate to the sets of numbers we have encountered in mathematics up to this point. Click here for a more detailed schedule

Instructor: Barry Balof

Office: 236 Olin Hall

Location: 315 Olin Hall Time: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9-9:50; Friday 11-11:50 Note the non-standard schedule. We will have `lecture' the first three days of each week. The last day will be reserved for presentation of HW exercises and for quizzes.

Textbook: Contemporary Abstract Algebra, 7th ed. by Joe Gallian

Class Time: It is my goal to get through two sections of new material per week, with time on Friday reserved for questions or for bi-weekly quizzes. Class attendance is extremely important!! Make-up quizzes will only be given in rare circumstances or with my prior approval. Please see me in advance if you need to miss a class.

Homework: Homework will be assigned daily and collected weekly. In addition to written exercises, you (the students) will present exercises in class on alternate Fridays.

Tests: In addition to the quizzes, the class will have a timed in-class midterm (with an out-of-class oral portion) and a Final exam with both written and take-home or oral components. Details will be given in class.

Grading: Grades will be assigned on a rougly 90-80-70 scale, with grades weighted as follows.
Homework and Class Participation 20 %
Quizzes 30 %
Midterm 20 %
Final Exam 30 %

Academic Honesty: Students are allowed, and in fact, strongly encouraged, to collaborate on homework assignments. However, the work that you turn in must be your own. No copying from any source! As much of the homework presentation is oral, it will be essential to have a verbal as well as a mathematical understanding of the problems, so if you are having trouble with either of these components, please SEE ME during office hours or at any other time for aid.

Special Needs: Any student with a disability for whom special accommodations would be helpful is encouraged to discuss this with the professor as soon as possible.

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