Math 350: Groups, Rings, and Fields
Instructor: Nathan Pflueger
This course is an introduction to abstract algebra, a central pillar of modern mathematics that concerns generalizations of the familiar addition and multiplication operations from ordinary arithmetic. The course focuses on three types of algebraic structures: groups, rings, and fields. For each structure, we study certain transformations between such structures, a library of important examples, and ways to construct one object from another. Time permitting, we will discuss several applications of abstract algebra, including a preview of public-key cryptography (a subject that I will most likely teach a semester-long course about in the spring).
- My office hours in SMUD 401:
- Tuesday 2:45-4:15
- Wednesday 1:15-2:45
- Friday 1:30-2:30
- Kat Mendoza's help hours in SMUD 208 (will be in 007 after renovation is finished):
- James Corbett's help hours in SMUD 208 (will be in 007 after renovation is finished):
- Tuesday 6-8pm
- Wednesday 6-8pm
- Fernando Liu Lopez's help hours in New Science Center D107 (ground floor, right behind the Science Library space):
- MWF 2-4pm
- TuThu 2-5pm
- Or by individual appointment at this link
Handouts and other items
- Overleaf LaTeX tutorial: this tutorial is a nice introduction for beginners. It focuses on using Overleaf, which allows you to write LaTeX documents online without installing any software.
- Overleaf Primer by Kristin Heysse (Macalester). Another tutorial on writing in LaTeX on Overleaf.
- Detexify: this is an absurdly useful tool that allows you to sketch a symbol and quickly learn the LaTeX command for it.
Problem sets will be posted here. All problem sets are due at 10pm, via Gradescope.
- Midterm 1: Friday 10/5
- Sample exams from previous semesters:
- Note: These exams should give some impression of the length and format of the exam, but the topic coverage is slightly different from previous semesters. In particular: both exams use topics from Chapter 6 (direct products), and use the notation Z(G) (for the center of a group G) that we have not used in class.
- Spring 2016
- Fall 2017
- Exam / Solutions
- Midterm 2: Friday 11/30
- Final Exam: Wednesday 12/19, 9am-noon in SCCE A131
- Remember to make a one-page note sheet (front and back) for the exam!
Reading/finals week hours:
- Thursday 12/13: 1:30-3:00 with Charley
- Friday 12/14: 10:15-11:45
- Monday 12/17: 9:30-11:00
- Tuesday 12/18: 9:30-11:00 with Charley
- Review sessions (with Math Fellows): Thursday and Saturday 5-7pm (check email for room assignment)
- Fernando's reading/finals office hours: 10am to 4pm every weekday.
- Sample Exam 1 / Solutions
- Sample Exam 2 / Solutions
- Review guide of topics that may appear on the exam.
- Many recent exams (these don't have solutions; let me know if you want to check your work for any of them)
- Another good source of problems: look at the Algebra sections of Old Comprehensive Exams (this is an especially good place for review if you're planning to take the math comps).
- Exam / Solutions