21-610 Algebra I - Fall 2011 MWF 2:30PM-3:20PM WeH 7201

Instructor: Rami Grossberg
Office: WEH 7204
Phone: x8482 (268-8482 from external lines), messages at x2545
Email: Rami@cmu.edu
URL: www.math.cmu.edu/~rami
Office Hours: Immediately after class or by appointment.

Purpose: The aim of this course is to provide a basic graduate level introduction to algebra. Sophisticated algebraic tools are fundamental not only in algebraic geometry and number theory but also in topology, mathematical physics, combinatorics and theoretical computer science.

Course description: I will follow quite closely Hungerford's text, covering most of the first six chapters; and if time permits, I will cover one or more of the following additional topics: elementary commutative algebra (from Chapter VIII), some basic facts concerning matroids (combinatorial geometry) and fundamentals of algebraic topology.

This course is a graduate course, while the prerequisits are minimal the pace will be fast and I intend to cover large amount of material quickly. If you are interested in a more relaxed introduction to algebra, I suggest taking another related course like Linear Algebra II or Field Theory instead.

There will be an emphasis on doing many exercises. Every week I will assign fairly large number of homework exercises which are due for the next Wedensday. Due to lack of a TA and a grader, homework will be collected on a random basis but will be graded carefully. Since I consider ability to prove (easy) theorems essential in this course, it will be impossible to pass the course without doing most of the homework assignments! A significant portion of the tests will consists of problems similar to homework assignments.

Text:"Algebra" by Thomas W. Hungerford. Published by Springer-Verlag's Graduate Text books series (GTM 73) price comparison.

Date for the midterms: Will be announced.

Evaluation: There will be two one-hour tests (in class), weekly homework assignments, and a three hour final. These will be weighted as follows:

The standards of academic honesty as stated in the Student Handbook will be strictly enforced.

Prerequisites: Algebraic Structures (21-373) and Linear Algebra I (21-341) or equivalent.
Rami's home page.
Last modified: August 28 th, 2011