Math 171: Abstract Algebra

Prof.'s Dagan Karp and Mike Orrison
Fall 2008


Topics for this course include groups, group actions, rings, and fields. Prerequisites: Math 12 (Linear Algebra) and Math 55 (Discrete Mathematics), or the permission of the instructor.


Dagan Karp
1267 Olin
Office hours: Tuesday 4:15-5:15 PM

Mike Orrison
1280 Olin
Office hours: Th. 3:00-5:00 PM


There are four teaching assistants/tutors available specifically for this class. They are holding tutoring sessions/office hour's/algebra-hang-out parties every Sunday and Wednesday evenings, 8:00-10:00 PM. These take place in the newly renovated 3rd Floor of Sprague Library.


We will use Abstract Algebra, Third Edition, by D. Dummit and R. Foote.


There will be three midterms and twice weekly homework. Each will count for one fifth of your grade. The remaining fifth will be the maximum of the four items above.


Written homework will be due each Monday and Thursday, and is posted on the link above. Please submit Monday's homework in class, and Thursday's homework directly to your instructor (or their mailbox). You are encouraged to discuss the homework with other members of the class, and it is appropriate to acknowledge the assistance of others. You will, however, be expected to write up your solutions on your own. The instructor will reserve the right to refuse to accept late homework for any reason. Graded homework, however, may (in most cases) be rewritten and submitted at a later date.

Please consult the HMC mathematics homework format guidelines for helpful tips on homework submission and formatting.


You are welcome to re-submit returned homework for additional credit. Any homework assignment which receives a less than perfect score may be resubmitted. Please staple your re-writes to your original assignment. Re-writes should be submitted two weeks from the original assignment date.


There will be three midterms, all of which will be taken home. They will be passed out on Wed. Oct. 1, Wed. Nov. 5 and Wed. Dec 10.

For use as a study aid, Exam 1 from 2006 can be found here. This year's Exam will be of similar format and level of difficulty, but may not cover the same material.


Students interested in using LaTeX for homework typesetting may find Eric Malm's newly created Problem Set Class useful.


Students who need disability-related accommodations are encouraged to discuss this with the instructor as soon as possible.