Syllabus for Modern Algebra II, Spring 2014

Instructor: Y.P. Lee, JWB 305
Office Hours: TuTh 13:45-14:00 + W 12:40-13:30 + appointments.

Time. TuTh 12:25-13:45, W 11:50-12:40.
Room: LCB 323

Course Information
Textbook: Algebra, revised third edition by Serge Lang. We might also use Introduction to commutative algebra by Atiyah and MacDonald.
Catalogue Number: 6320. Class Index Number: 2578.

Course Description: This will be the second semester for 2-semester series of Modern Algebra.

The class will meet 4 hours each week, roughly 50% on lectures and 50% on problem sessions. Because I believe strongly in active learning, the problem sessions will be the core of the class. The pace of the lectures will be very brisk and the students are expected to work very hard outside the classroom. An average student should plan to study at least 12 hours per week to keep up with the class.

Coverage: I plan to cover 4 main topics: Galois Theory, Homological Algebra, Commutative Algebra and Representations of Finite Groups. In case time does not allow, we might have to skip one of the latter two.

Prelim requirements: This is one of the prelim classes. Algebra prelim requires solid working knowledge on groups, rings, modules, homological algebra, fields, and Galois theory, which will form the core of this course. The class is designed in such a way that a student who does well in the class should have no problem passing the algebra prelim.

Homework: Problem solving is vital for this class. Homework problems will be assigned during the lectures and posted at the class home page afterwards. Problem sessions will be held after conclusion of each chapter. Students will take turns to present their solutions during the problem sessions, A student volunteer will organize the presentation of HW problems according to students' own preferences. The students are required to turn in their solutions before midnight on Mondays after the conclusion of problem sessions for each chapter, either by submitting the PDF or LaTeX files to me via email with Subject line: 6320 HW n, or by a printout delivered to me during the class before the deadline. (Exceptions can be made!) Problem solving is vital for this class. Students will take turns to present their solutions during the problem sessions. It is a good opportunity to hone your skill of presenting mathematics in a succinct and engaging way.

The current plan is to have one midterm exam and one final exam. This may change depending on how the class goes.(*)
Location: LCB 323, the lecture room, unless otherwise announced.
Midterm Exam: Tuesday, 18 Mar (tentative).
(*) At the discretion of the instructor, additional midterm exam might be held and grading policy weights changed accordingly.
Final Exam: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 10:30-12:30.
Note: All exams are cumulative. Only pencils are allowed during the exams. No calculators, computers, books, notes etc.
Important! Please make sure that you can attend all exams. No makeup exam is possible without a documented exceptional reason. In most cases, it must be authorized by the instructor prior to the exam.

Grading Policy: 10% problem sessions, 20% homework, 30% midterm exam, 40% final exam.
(In case of 2 midterm exams, 40% midterm exam, 30% final exam.)

How to do well in this class? The answer is straightforward and old-fashioned: Prepare for Class, Keep Up, and Do the Homework Problems. The exams will contain at least 70% from material covered in lecturs and homework problems, with little modification. A sure way to get a good grade is to study for the class, and do the assignments as if you are taking the tests, without the help of the book, notes and computers. It also helps a great deal to ask questions during and after the lectures, especially after you have already (p)reviewed the material.

Instructor's comments: The goal of this class is to have students learn the material well and then to give them fair and accurate grades. To achieve this goal, the instructor belives in serious homework problems and hard exams. Serious problems make students learn more and better. Hard exams give a better evaluation of students' learning. In other words, if you are taking this class just to get a passing grade and with no intention to learn, consider taking another class.

Continued from Modern Algebra I.
Department Schedule Y.P.'s teaching page Y.P.'s homepage

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