Algebraic Structures, Fall 2023
© 2021 Laure Bukh
Used with permission
- Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 10:00 (Section A)
- Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 2:00 (Section B)
- Baker Hall 235A (Section A)
- Porter Hall A18A (Section B)
The aim of this course is to introduce algebraic structures that pervade mathematics: groups and rings. We will learn what they are, will see many examples, learn how to reason about them. Topics to be covered include permutation groups, abelian groups, cyclic groups, homomorphisms, quotient groups, group actions, group classification, rings, ring homomorphisms, ideals, integral domains, quotient rings, unique factorization domains, principal ideal domains, and fields.
The prerequisites are being comfortable with reading and writing proofs, and a little of bit of linear algebra.
- Lecture notes by Samir Siksek. They are well-written, but contain slightly less than what we are going to cover.
- Abstract Algebra by Dummit and Foote. This is an excellent book for self-study, both at the beginner and more advanced levels. A copy is on reserve in the library.
The office hours will be at 2:30pm–3:20pm on Thursdays and at 11am–11:55am on Fridays in Wean 6202. I am also available by appointment.
We use Piazza discussion forum.
There will be weekly homeworks, two mid-terms and a final. The mid-terms will take place on September 25th and November 8th. The final exam will be on a day designated by the registrar. In case of a final exam conflict, the students are required to inform me and the other involved instructor within one week after the registrar publishes the final exam schedule.
Students are expected to fully participate in the class. Discussions during the lectures are encouraged.
Homework will count for 10% of the grade. The mid-terms will count for 25% each, whereas the final will count for 40%.
Practice is an integral to learning mathematics. You are encouraged to do as much homework as possible on your own; this way you will learn more. Though collaboration is allowed, you must write the solutions yourself. Turning in solutions that you do not understand will be treated as cheating. In particular, you are allowed to use (with a citation) any source, but only if you have read and understood it.
Homework must be neat. Each word must be readable. Anything that you do not want to be graded must be completely crossed out. If in doubt, either re-write solution from scratch or typeset it in LaTeX. Any solution that fails to be neat will receive 0.
The lowest homework score will not count towards the final grade.
The homework must be submitted via Gradescope.
All exams are closed book.
The in-class exams for sections A and B will be different. However, to avoid misplaced expectations and additional stress, I strongly recommend students in section A not to discuss the exam with students in section B.
If for unforeseeable reason you are unable to take one of the exams, contact me as soon as you are able.
Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to,
- Not writing solutions independently.
- Not disclosing help that you received and resources used.
- Turning in solutions that you do not understand.
- Receiving or providing assistance during an exam.
The default course-level action for violation of academic integrity is an R grade for the course, but more lenient action may be considered depending on the nature of the violation and conduct during the investigation.
If you feel desparate, and are tempted to commit a violation, note that there is probably a better way. Please reach out for support to me, and or to many of the university-wide resources.
Staying sane and healthy:
This is an advanced mathematics course. It is designed to challenge your brain with new and exciting mathematics, not to wear your body down with sleepless nights. Start the assignments early, and get good nutrition and exercise. Pace yourself, for semester is long. If you find yourself falling behind or constantly tired, talk to me.
|Section A||Section B|
|August 28||Introduction. Groups. Examples. Commutativity. Abelian groups. D8. Symmetry.||Homework #1|
|August 30||Notation. Powers. Subgroups. Dihedral groups. GL2(R). Dihedral group as a subgroup of GL2(R). Cyclic groups.||Notation. Powers. Subgroups. Dihedral groups. GL2(R). Classification of subgroups of Z.|
|September 1||Symmetric group. Cycles. Classification of subgroups of Z.||Symmetric group. Cycles. Dihedral group as a subgroup of GL2(R). Cyclic groups.|
|September 4||Labor Day||Homework #2|
|September 6||Permutations are products of disjoint cycles. Order of a group. Order of an element. Homomorphisms. Examples. Isomorphisms. Examples. Cyclic groups are determined by their order.||Permutations are products of disjoint cycles. Order of a group. Order of an element. Homomorphisms. Examples.|
|September 8||Properties of homomorphisms and isomorphisms. Heisenberg group. Conjugation.||Isomorphisms. Examples. Cyclic groups are determined by their order. Properties of homomorphisms and isomorphisms. Heisenberg group. Conjugation.|
|September 11||Subgroup notation. Cosets. Lagrange's theorem. Groups of prime order. Index. Group (Z/nZ)*. Euclidean algorithm. Fermat's little theorem.||Subgroup notation. Cosets. Lagrange's theorem. Groups of prime order. Index. Fire alarm.||Homework #3|
|September 13||Examples of cosets. Products of groups. Normal subgroups. Kernels. Normality criterion. Quotient groups. SL2(R)||Group (Z/nZ)*. Euclidean algorithm. Fermat's little theorem. Examples of cosets. Products of groups. Normal subgroups.|
|September 15||Natural projection. Trivial kernels. First isomorphism theorem. Normality is not transitive.||Quotient groups. Kernels. Index-2 subgroups are normal. Normality is not transitive.|
|September 18||Index-2 subgroups are normal. Groups generated by subsets.||Normality criterion. SL2(R). Trivial kernels. First isomorphism theorem.||Homework #4|
|September 20||Groups actions. Group actions are homomorphisms. Cayley's theorem. Orbits. Stabilizers.||Natural projection. Groups generated by subsets.|
|September 22||Examples of groups actions. Restrictions of group actions. Transpositions. Sign of a permutation.||Groups actions. Group actions are homomorphisms. Cayley's theorem. Orbits.|
|September 25||Test #1||Homework #5|
|September 27||Alternating group. Simple groups. Alternating groups are generated by the 3-cycles. Alternating groups are simple (part I).||Examples of groups actions. Restrictions of group actions. Transpositions. Sign of a permutation.|
|September 29||Alternating groups are simple (part II). A4 is not simple. Converse to Lagrange's theorem fails. A digression on solvable groups and solving polynomial equations. Automorphism group. Inner automorphisms.||Alternating group. Simple groups. Alternating groups are generated by the 3-cycles. Alternating groups are simple (part I).|