Math 385, Spring 2006

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 to real life situations. 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: 246 Olin Hall Time: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 1:00-1:50 PM

Textbook: Contemporary Abstract Algebra, 5th ed. by Joe Gallian

Class Time: It is my goal to get through two sections of material per week, one section each on Mondays and Wednesdays. On alternate Fridays we will present homework problems orally (good practice for those of you planning to take Senior Orals). On each of the other Fridays, we will have short 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.

Tests: In addition to the quizzes, the class will have a timed take-home midterm and the option of an oral or take-home written exam

Grading: Grades will be assigned on a rougly 90-80-70 scale, with grades weighted as follows.
Homework and Class Participation 20 %
Weekly Quizzes 30 %
Midterm 20 % Each
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! Quizzes will generally be closed-book, exams generally open-book. 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.

Barry Balof's Home Page
Whitman Math Home
Whitman College Home