Math 4281: Introduction to Modern Algebra


Spring 2011

CLASS MEETINGS: 9:05-9:55 MWF (Vincent Hall 6)

INSTRUCTOR: Alex Voronov

OFFICE: VinH 324

PHONE: (612) 624-0355

E-MAIL ADDRESS: You are welcome to use e-mail to send questions to me.

INTERNET: All class announcements will be posted on the class homepage and NOT handed out in class.

OFFICE HOURS: MF 10:00-11:00, W 2:00-3:00, and by appointment.

TEXT:  Algebra: Abstract and Concrete, 2nd or 2.5th edition, by Frederick M. Goodman.

OVERVIEW: This is an introductory course in modern algebra. It differs from Math 5285H: Fundamental Structures of Algebra by (i) being less theoretical, and (ii) having somewhat different subject matter. (There are, however, some overlaps in topics covered in the two courses.) The only prerequisite for Math 4281, aside from sophomore level calculus-type courses is Math 2283 or Math 3283W (Sequences, Series, and Foundations) -- either version is acceptable.

PREREQUISITES: Math 2283 or 3283W.

COVERAGE: Sections 1.1 - 1.11; 2.1 - 2.7; 3.1, 3.3; 5.1 - 5.2; 6.1 - 6.4; 7.3; 8.1; 9.1; 10.3 (time permitting).


EXAMS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS: There will be homework, collected at Monday's class meetings, three one-hour midterm exams during the following Friday class meetings: February 18, April 1, and May 6. in our regular classroom, VinH 6. All tests are closed-book, closed-notes, no "cheat sheets", no calculators.

MAKE-UP TESTS: There will be no make-up tests. However, early tests will be given, if you have a valid reason. If you have to miss an hour exam, your grade on it will be the prorated grade of the following exam. If you have to miss the last exam, the grade on it will be the minimum of your grades on the first and the second exam. If you miss two tests, one of them will be graded as zero. If you miss three, they will all be graded as zero. You have to tell me before the exam (e-mail is fine) that you want to exercise this option and skip the test.

HOMEWORK: Homework will be collected on Monday class meetings and a random selection of problems graded. Every once in a while we will be discussing it in class. Also note that selected homework problems (or similar) may be given on tests. This is another reason why you should do the homework before each class and, moreover, remember the ideas and techniques used in your solutions. Getting together with other students (that is, in study groups) is a very efficient way to do homework (and have fun and pizza).

GRADING POLICY: Grades will be assigned on curve, using the following weights:

Class participation may also be taken into account in marginal cases.

CALCULATOR POLICY: No calculators will be allowed on any tests.


January 25 - Last day to register for a class without instructor approval and drop a course and receive a 100% refund

January 31 - Last day to drop a course without receiving a "W" on transcript and receive a 75% refund

February 18 - Midterm I

March 14-18 - Spring Break

April 1 - Midterm II

May 6 - Last day of instruction: Midterm III