Math 531 Section 001-31051 (Spring 2005)
1 Course Description
Modern algebra is a core course within the undergraduate math major
curriculum. This is indeed true at every university and so it is
important to have a proper first exposure. This fact is especially
true of students who will go on to graduate school in mathematics,
or become high school teachers.
Many student are surprised to see the word algebra being used
to describe the content of this course. Indeed, students that I
have talked to have indicated that the word symmetry probably
describes the course better than algebra. However, among
mathematicians the word algebra refers to a body of ideas containing
the material in Math 531. More specifically, the course will
closely follow the description of Math 531 in the UWM Undergraduate
Bulletin located at:
During most of the semester, we will discuss group theory. This
subject is, in part, a mathematical description of symmetry at a
fundamental level. I am hopeful that we spend at least one month on
other algebraic structures such as rings (and maybe fields and
vector spaces). Once students have mastered these algebraic
structures they will be ready to see how the material may be used to
understand algebraic equations.
The content of the course will be related to Math 431, which some of
you may have taken. The difference between Math 431 and Math 531 is
that the former emphasizes applications (especially to computer
science), while the latter emphasizes theory and proofs. With this
said, I would like to add that Math 531 will also discuss
applications. (For starters, take a look at chapter zero of our
2 Course Details
- Class time
- 12:30pm-1:45pm Tuesday and Thursday in EMS E160
- Contemporary Abstract Algebra by: Joseph A. Gallian.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company; 5th edition. 2001.
I highly recommend looking at the author's web page for
supplementary material related to the book:
- Exams will have both an in class and a take home component. No
make-up exams, except in severe situations such as illness.
Students will be allowed to complete examinations or other
requirements that are missed because of a religious observance.
- March 17 (Thursday) 12:30pm-1:45pm in EMS E160
Counts for 40% of your course grade
- May 19 (Thursday) 10:00am-12:00pm location PHYSICS 135
Counts for 40% of your course grade.
- Homework will be assigned throughout the
course and will constitute 20% of your course grade.
- Much of Chapter 0 reviews the material that you probably learned
in Math 341. Read this
chapter. Note that we will not formally cover this material. There
are some interesting exercises concerning the mathematics behind
assigning driver's license number, check digits for the
identification of money orders, ISBN numbers etc.
For your first (graded) homework assignment write up problems: 14,
25, 46, and 50 from the exercises at the end of Chapter 0. These
four problems will be due on February 8, 2005.
- Web Page:
- j w a t u w m d o t e d u
- (414) 229-4936
- EMS E494
- Office Hours:
- 1:45pm- 3:15pm Tuesday and 4:00pm- 5:30pm Thursday and by
- Math 234(P) & 341(241)(P). Of the listed
prerequisites, Math 341 is the most important. In general, students
should be advised that in Math 531 we assume that you know
what a mathematical proof is and how to read and write one. If you
have not taken Math 341 please talk to me!
- If you have any disability, please feel free to contact me for
any help or accommodation which you may need.
- The university has a responsibility to promote academic honesty
and integrity and to develop procedures to deal effectively with
instances of academic dishonesty. Students are responsible for the
honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate
citation of sources, and for respect of others' academic endeavors.
Further information can be found at:
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