Algebraic Structures, Spring 2023

Robot juggling rubik cubes
Group ring
© 2021 Laure Bukh
Used with permission


  • Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 10:00 (Section A)
  • Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 2:00 (Section B)


  • Porter Hall A18B (Section A)
  • Posner Hall 145 (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.


Office hours:

The office hours will be at 2:30pm–3:20pm on Thursdays and at 11am–noon on Fridays in Wean 6202. I am also available by appointment.

Course activities:

There will be weekly homeworks, two mid-terms and a final. The mid-terms will take place on February 22nd and April 12th. The final exam will be on May 1st at 8:30am in DH 1212. 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 15% of the grade. The mid-terms will count for 22% each, whereas the final will count for 41%.


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.

Academic integrity:

Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to,

Any violation will result in automatic grade of R for the class, and will be reported to the university.

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.


Back to the homepage