MATH 720-1, Algebra I, 3 credits, Fall 2007

MWF 11:00-11:50 AM, Morrill Hall 101

INSTRUCTOR: Sean Sather-Wagstaff
OFFICE: Minard Hall 310D
E-MAIL: Sean.Sather-Wagstaff at (Replace the word "at" with the symbol "@".)
PHONE: 231-8105
OFFICE HOURS: MWF 10:00-10:50, and by appointment




REQUIRED TEXT: Algebra, by T. Hungerford

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Graduate level survey of algebra: groups, rings, fields, Galois theory, and selected advanced topics. MATH 720 meets for 150 minutes of lecture each week.

COURSE GRADES: weekly homework assignments, attendance and participation, and one (1) comprehensive final examination covering students' understanding of topics covered in MATH 720. Weights are summarized in the following table.

Homework: 60%
Attendance and participation: 10%
Final Exam: 30%

I will update your grades throughout the semester at the NDSU Blackboard site. Final grades will be assigned according to the following percentages.

A 90-100%
B 80-89.9%
C 70-79.9%
D 60-69.9%
F 0-59.9%

HOMEWORK: I will assign homework on a weekly basis. Exercises will be assigned in class on Fridays and solutions will be due at the beginning of class on the following Friday. Assignments will also be listed below. Each section of homework will be worth the same amount. Late homework will only be accepted under extreme circumstances. If you have a conflict with any of the homework due dates, make alternative arrangements with me beforehand. Students are encouraged to work on assignments in small groups, but each member of the class is required to turn in a neatly written, organized set of solutions. Students will receive no credit for solutions with no work or justification. I reserve the right to deduct points for messy papers. You may even consider using LaTeX to typeset your solutions.

ATTENDANCE: While attendance is not explicitly required, it is worth 10% of your grade. In addition, your presence, attention, and participation in lecture will greatly help your performance in this class. For these reasons, I will take attendance each class period. Officially excused absences will not be counted against you, but you must document such situations with us personally.

EXAMS: I have decided to give a final exam because I feel that the practice will help you when it comes time to prepare for and take the qualifying exam in Algebra. The final examination will be comprehensive and will last 2 hours. Books, notes and calculators will not be allowed during the exams. If you have a conflict with the exam date, you are responsible for making alternative arrangements with me beforehand.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE: I reserve the right to make reasonable changes to the schedule if I find it necessary.

Last day for No Record Drop of classes: Wed 29 Aug, 11:59 PM
Labor Day holiday: Mon 03 Sep
International Talk Like A Pirate Day: Wed 19 Sep
Veteran's Day holiday: Mon 12 Nov
Thanksgiving holiday: Thu 22 Nov to Fri 23 Nov
Last day to Drop Classes (W) Mon 26 Nov, 11:59 PM
Classes end: Fri 07 Dec
Final Exam: Fri 14 Dec, 8:00-10:00 AM

LECTURE NOTES: Clear and thorough course notes will provide you with a basis for your preparations for homework assignments, quizzes, and exams. You are responsible for taking notes during class, as I will not be posting my lecture notes online.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Periodically, I will send course announcements to your email account. It is your responsibility to check this email account regularly.

QUESTIONS: If something I say or write in lecture is unclear, raise your hand and ask a question. I will try to clarify the point I am making.

GROUP STUDY: You should find at least one person in the class with whom you can study. Not only does this help you study better, but also, in the event you miss a lecture, you can get the notes and assignments from this person. In addition, this will help you immensely when you are studying for the qualifying exam in Algebra.

READING: Before each lecture, read through your notes from the previous class. This will help you follow lecture considerably. You also may find it helpful to read relevant sections of the text before class.

OFFICE HOURS: Come to my office hours for help. This gives me the opportunity to focus on specific problems you may be having and to explain things in a more personal manner. If the scheduled times are bad for you, make an appointment with me.

INSTRUCTOR FEEDBACK: Here there will be a link to an anonymous evaluation form where students can submit comments or suggestions for me at any time during the semester.

ADA STATEMENT: The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that reasonable accommodations be provided for students with physical, cognitive, systemic, learning and psychiatric disabilities in order to ensure their equal access to course content. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please let your instructor know as soon as possible. For more information, please contact Disability Services at 231-7671 or go to

ACADEMIC HONESTY: All work in this course must be completed in a manner consistent with NDSU University Senate Policy, Section 335: Code of Academic Responsibility and Conduct. Violations of this policy in this course will result in a 0 for the quiz or exam on which academic misconduct occurred. You can read the Senate Policy at .


Group Theory
Category Theory
Ring Theory
Galois Theory

Course survey Fri 24 Aug
Exercises 1 Fri 31 Aug
Exercises 2 Fri 07 Sep
Exercises 3 Fri 14 Sep
Exercises 4 Fri 21 Sep
Exercises 5 Fri 28 Sep
Exercises 6 Fri 05 Oct
Exercises 7 Fri 12 Oct
Exercises 8 Fri 19 Oct
Exercises 9 Fri 26 Oct
Exercises 10 Fri 02 Nov
Exercises 11 Fri 09 Nov
Exercises 12 and 13 Wed 21 Nov
Exercises 14 Fri 30 Nov
Exercises 15 Fri 07 Dec

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Last updated 06 December 2007