Math 171: Abstract Algebra

Prof.'s Dagan Karp and Matt Davis
Fall 2010


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: Monday/Thursday 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Matt Davis
B160 Olin
Office hours: Tuesday 2:00-3:00 p.m., Wednesday 3:00-4:00 p.m.



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 exams, all of which will be taken home. They will be passed out on Wed. Sep. 29, Wed. Nov. 3 and Wed. Dec 8.

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 Problem Set Class useful.


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

Honor Code

Though cooperation on homework assignments is encouraged, students are expected to write up their own solutions individually. That is, no copying. Comprehension is the goal, so even with cooperation, you should understand solutions well enough to write them up yourself. It is appropriate to acknowledge the assistance of others; if you work with others on a homework question, please write their names in the margin. Tests are to be done individually. You are encouraged to discuss your paper with other students. The HMC Honor Code applies in all matters of conduct concerning this course.