Virtual Instructor: Matt Kerr
Empty Office: Cupples I, Room 114 [all office hours are on Zoom]
e-mail: matkerr [at] wustl.edu
Virtual Office Hours: Monday 8-9(PM), Wednesday 2:30-3:30, Friday 2-3
A few preliminaries.
Topics include: subgroups, Cayley and Lagrange theorems, group actions and Burnside's lemma, orbits and conjugacy classes, cosets, normal subgroups, quotient groups, homomorphisms, Sylow theorems.
Topics include: integral domains, ideals, homomorphisms, fields, polynomial rings, Euclidean algorithm, multiplicative group of a finite field, principal ideal domains, unique factorization domains, Gauss's lemma, irreducibility tests, algebraic number rings.
Topics include: Schur's Lemma, structure theorems for finitely generated modules over a PID and abelian groups, canonical forms, endomorphisms.
Topics include: exterior algebras, division algebras, quaternions, Frobenius and Wedderburn theorems.
This is the first half of a year-long course which forms the basis for the Ph.D. qualifying examination in algebra. This semester we will cover primarily groups, rings, and modules. In the Spring semester we turn to Galois theory, then go more deeply into the structure theory of rings and algebras, and apply this to representation theory and commutative algebra.
Prerequisites: Math 430 or the equivalent, or permission of the instructor.
Lectures are on Tuesday and Thursday, from 1:00-2:20 PM, on Zoom. There will be some groupwork in breakout rooms since 80 straight minutes of online lecture is a bit much. First class is Tuesday Sept. 15 and last class is Thursday Dec. 17, with no class on Thursday Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Holiday).
Midterm Exam: due Friday Nov. 13 (take home, covering groups and rings)
Final Exam: Thursday Jan. 7, 2021
The final exam is currently presumed to be a take-home exam as well, due on Jan. 7. If the virus situation changes and we are in person, it will take place on this date from 1-3 PM.
These will be due, via PDF upload to Canvas, on Tuesdays at noon. Solutions will also be posted here and may include students' work. I encourage you to visit my office hours to discuss problem sets, and to form study groups to discuss the more difficult problems (though solutions must be written up independently).
This is, of course, a "proof course". Please write your solutions legibly, linearly, logically and concisely, in complete sentences with proper mathematical grammar, and cite the results you use ("by Proposition (1.2.3) in the lecture notes/Jacobson, it follows that ..."). In addition, make sure to document any ideas that come from another text, person, or online source.
Problem Set 1 (due Tuesday Sept. 22)
Grader: Xiaojiang Cheng
Posted here as I write them, these will serve as our primary text, supplemented by the Jacobson book (see below).
Nathan Jacobson, Basic Algebra I (2nd Ed.); Dover
is the recommended textbook, which means I will follow it at least half the time and some of the problems I assign will come from it. Buy a copy of this (and Basic Algebra II for next semester) -- it's cheap.
If you would like to read more adventurously than Jacobson and/or my lecture notes, here are some suggestions. First, there are many other excellent standard texts, including
D.J.H. Garling, A Course in Galois Theory; Cambridge Univ. Press,
Thomas Hungerford, Algebra; Springer-Verlag,
Serge Lang, Algebra; Springer-Verlag,
Joseph Rotman, Advanced Modern Algebra; Prentice-Hall.
Your final grade for the semester is determined as follows: HW 40%, midterm 20%, final exam 40%. I will drop the lowest two grades you receive on homework.
Homework and examination grades will be regularly updated on Canvas.
Grades are typically curved in a course like this but will never be less than the following scale:
If you are a graduate student, a letter grade of B is required to pass; if you are an undergraduate taking this class Pass/Fail, you must earn a C- to pass.
The Washington University academic integrity policies are here. All work submitted under your name is expected to be your own; please make sure to document any ideas that come from another source.