Syllabus for Math 511
Introduction to Algebraic Systems
Meeting Time: MWF† 9:30-10:20
Room: Cardwell Hall 129
Instructor: Jason Rosenhouse
Office: Cardwell Hall 46A (in the basement)
Office Hours: TBA or by appointment.
Office E-Mail: email@example.com
Textbook:† Modern Algebra, An Introduction, Fourth Edition, by John Durbin
Course Objectives:† Modern Algebra is one of the most important branches of mathematics.† It finds many applications in science and technology.† For example, every time you purchase something off the internet, you are using cryptosystems based on modern algebra.† Chemists use algebra to study the structures of certain molecules.† Ever wonder how a CD player is able to read a CD that is marred by a scratch?† Algebra!† (Well, thatís part of it anyway).†
In this course we will introduce many of the most important concepts in modern algebra.† We will discuss a mixture of theory and applications.† The emphasis throughout will be on clear thinking and logical argument, not rote memorization.† The course is intended primarily for people majoring in mathematics education.† Math majors, particularly those considering graduate study in mathematics, should take Math 512.†
Course Requirements:† Your grade in this course will be based on several factors.† Homework will be assigned regularly, most likely on a weekly basis.† There will also be two in-class exams during the term, plus a final exam.† Additionally, I will probably give some quizzes and/or some writing assignments during the term.† Finally, class participation will be taken into consideration.
Studying Groups:† Most students find it helpful to study with other class members, and I strongly encourage you to do this.† You are free to work together on homework assignments, but in the end everyone must hand in his own paper.†
Attendance:† This class moves quickly, so missing even one day will entail having to catch up on a substantial amount of material.† Take this into consideration if you are considering cutting a particular class period.† Generally, I donít take attendance in a formal way.† But I will certainly be aware if you miss a substantial number of class periods and, since class participation is an important feature of the class, it will adversely affect your grade.
Textbook Reading:† I will be supplementing the textbook with class notes of my own.† It is expected that you will do the assigned reading prior to coming to class.† Even if you find the reading difficult you will be in a much better position to understand the material in class if you have already seen it once before.† Keep in mind that reading mathematics is different from reading normal literature.† Thus, even if the reading assignment is only a few pages long, you might find that it takes you a substantial amount of time to get through it.† Keep that in mind when you are budgeting your time.
Final Thoughts:† If you have any special needs, and medical conditions, etc. that will in any way affect your performance in my class, let me know as soon as possible.† Also, if for some reason you will have to be absent for an extended period of time, again, let me know as soon as possible.† Donít be bashful about coming to office hours during the term, or talking to me after class.† Ultimately, everything I do at the front of the room is done for your benefit, so it is important to me that I have your feedback along the way.