Administrivia Prerequisites and text HW and exams HW and exam solutions Lecture notes Handouts

Commutative Algebra



The course meets from 2:30 to 3:20 MWF in BH 231A.

There will be (lots of) homework, plus a takehome midterm and a takehome final. Collaboration is encouraged on the homework and forbidden on the exams. Homework will typically be set in each class meeting and will be due at the following class meeting, late homework will not be accepted.

Many important ideas will be developed in the homework and then used without comment in class. So it is essential that you do the homework!

My tentative plan is to compute grades according to the formula: 40 percent for homework, 20 percent for midterm, 40 percent for final. This plan may change as the term progresses.

I have no regular office hours but am always happy to meet with students by appointment (send me email to make an appointment). My office is Wean Hall 7101 and my email address is

My plan is to generate a set of online lecture notes. This will require a modest amount of help from you; in each lecture one student will be designated as the "scribe for the day" and required to take detailed and legible notes. You can either give me a copy of these notes or (if you want to be especially helpful) transcribe them into LaTeX and email them to me. I will correct and expand the notes based on feedback from students.


Prerequisites and text

Prerequisites: a knowledge of the basic facts about rings, groups and fields. The Algebra I course is more than sufficient.

I plan to cover all the material in the course text, Atiyah and Macdonald's ``Introduction to Commutative Algebra'' plus a modest amount of homological algebra. In parallel with this I will discuss the motivating ideas from algebraic number theory and algebraic geometry.

Supplementary reading which you may find interesting after you are through with this course. On algebraic geometry Hartshorne "Algebraic geometry", Fulton "Algebraic curves", Reid "Undergraduate algebraic geometry", Eisenbud and Harris "The geometry of schemes", Shafarevich "Basic algebraic geometry", Mumford "Algebraic geometry I". On commutative algebra Zariski and Samuel "Commutative algebra", Reid "Undergraduate commutative algebra", Eisenbud "Commutative algebra". On homological algebra Weibel "An introduction to homological algebra", Hilton and Stammbach "A course on homological algebra". On algebraic number theory Frohlich and Taylor "Algebraic number theory", Samuel "Algebraic theory of numbers", Marcus "Number fields".



Homework sets and exams


Homework and exam solutions


Lecture notes