Abstract Algebra I
Mathematics 566: Fall 2011

Professor: Rachel Pries, e-mail: pries AT math DOT colostate DOT edu; web page: www.math.colostate.edu/~pries; office: Weber 118.

Lecture: MWF 1:00-1:50, Engineering E205. Code 63403.

Course description: In this course, we will study groups and rings. These are abstract algebraic structures mostly developed in the 1800s in Europe which are useful for studying many natural questions. We will follow the course syllabus, including the following major topics: examples and basic properties of groups; homomorphisms and quotient groups; group actions; examples and basic properties of rings; and ideals and unique factorization in rings. After completing the course, everyone should have a passing grade for the 566 qualifying exam requirement. Beyond this, the material is fundamental to the study of mathematics in general and to the areas of algebraic geometry, combinatorics, number theory, and topology in particular. This course will be primarily theoretical, but if time permits we will investigate some applications of group theory to chemistry, coding theory, and cryptography.

Prerequisite: Math 466 or an equivalent undergraduate abstract algebra course, or permission of professor.

Homework: Homework is the most important part of this class. It should demonstrate your knowledge of the material, your investigation of open ended questions, and your skill at writing proofs. Homework is divided into easy, medium, and difficult problems. The problems to be handed in will be announced in class. Homework is due every Friday afternoon. Homework must be neat, legible, and stapled in order to receive credit. I encourage you to brainstorm the problems in groups and write up your solutions independently.
Detailed information on syllabus and homework

Text: Abstract Algebra (third edition), by Dummit and Foote, Wiley Press.

Examinations: There will be a midterm given in class on Friday, October 14th.
There will be a final examination Tuesday, December 13 from 2-4 pm.

Grading: The course grades will be computed approximately as follows.
50% Homework; 20% Midterm; 30% Final.
Class participation will determine borderline grades.

Homework sessions: In class homework sessions will be held on W 9/21, F 9/23, M 11/7, W 11/9, F 11/11.
Five extra homework sessions will be held outside of class Mon 5-6 pm on 9/12, 10/3, 10/24, 11/14, 12/5.

Help: Help is always available if you have trouble with homework or lecture material. If your classmates can't answer your question, come ask me! Office hours are 2-3 pm on Wed and Thurs or by appointment.