Math 3230 (216) - SPRING 2007
Description: This course studies fundamental algebraic systems in mathematics, selected from groups, rings, fields, and modules. Examples of groups include the invertible matrices with a fixed size and the roots of unity. Rings are illustrated by integers, polynomials, and modular arithmetic. Complex numbers, rational numbers, and rational functions are examples of fields. (There are also finite fields, which are used all the time in computer science.) Finally, ordinary vectors in space and any lattice in the plane are examples of modules. The concern with these algebraic systems is not simply the study of individual systems, but also of functions between systems which carry one operation into the other. For instance, the determinant not only converts matrices into numbers, but it sends a product of matrices into a product of numbers. The level of attention given to such operation-preserving transformations (putting them on an equal footing with the algebraic systems they transform) is one of the characteristic features of abstract algebra, and also one of the algebraic ideas which have reached into other areas of mathematics.
Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in MATH 2142(244) or 2710(213). Recommended preparation: MATH 2210Q(227Q) or 2144Q(246Q).
Sections: Spring 2007 in Storrs Campus
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