**Text**: "Classical algebra" by Gilbert and Vanstone. 4th edition.

**Evaluation**: There will be two one hour tests (in class),
homework
assignments, and a three hour final. The final will cover all the course
material. These will be weighted as follows:

- Each of the two midterm tests will make up 20%
- The final will make up 40%
- Homework assignments will make up 20%.
Since some of the test questions will be based on HW problems the relative weight of being able to do the HW correctly is much greater than 20%.

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

**Assignments**: Will be
from the textbook, a list will be handed
out at the
lectures (and posted on the **web**).
There will be two types of problems: with an asterisk and without.
The problems with an asterisk will be collected every
Tuesday and Thursday and will be graded.
It is strongly recommended to do all assignments,
and in case of difficulties you can consult me.

**Goals**: The main purpose of this course is to teach you to be
able
to understand, and to write mathematical proofs. Proofs, and not
prescriptions, are the central part of mathematics, and give it the rigor
and absoluteness that is not present in any of the other sciences. The
language of mathematical proofs is formal logic, so the course will include
a short study of formal logic. But it must be emphasized that this
is the language of proofs only, and that in order to do proofs there must
be some content. We will emphasize proof by induction, and use several
induction techniques to
derive some fundametal properties of numbers.

In the early twentieth century, an attempt was made to put mathematics on a completely rigorous footing, based on well accepted and fundamental axioms (this program was advocated by David Hilbert). A large part of modern mathematical practice stems from this program. The basic theory on which most parts of abstract mathematics rest is the theory of sets. We will discuss some of this theory, including the very important notion, discovered (or created) by Cantor, of how to compare the relative sizes of infinite sets. As a postscript, it should be added that Hilbert's ideals, in their fullest form, were shown by Godel to be unrealizable. However, this in no way diminishes the importance of the axiomatic method in modern mathematics.

**Material to be covered**: I plan to cover most of the non-trivial
material of the first five chapters of the book, with a special emphasis
on chapters 3, and 5 that are the more interesting (and the hardest)
chapters in the book. If time permits we will cover little from
Chapter 8.

**Important**: Due to several reasons at certain parts of the course
(especially in the begining)
the lecture will
not follow the order of presentation of the material in the text book.
I will also treat some of the material in a different form than the book
does.
You should attend all lectures and take carefull notes. In case you will miss
a lecture you should try to get a copy of the notes from one of your
classmates. While attending the lectures is not a formal requirement,
based on my exprience if you will not attend all
the lectures and attempt to do
all the homework you are likely to fail the course.
While I plan to post some information about the course on the web
(including HW assignments), the web or email are not substitutes for
attending lectures and recitations.

Last modified:
June 15^{th}, 2004 |