Webpage for MATH 791: Spring 2024


Course: Math 791 Modern Algebra

Time and Place: MWF 1:00 - 1:50pm, Snow Hall 302

Description: This is a graduate level course covering groups, rings and fields, and aims to prepare PhD students for the abstract algebra portion of the qualifying exam in algebra. Though we will quickly review basic properties of groups, rings and fields, it will be assumed that most students in the course will have seen these concepts before. All course material will appear on both our course webpage and our Canvas page.

Textbook: Generally, when teaching a graduate course in algebra, I do not follow paths laid out in a standard textbook. However, all of the topics covered in this course appear in the following texts, which are freely available online: Algebra: Abstract and Concrete by Frederick M. Goodman and Algebra for First Year Graduate Students by George F. McNulty. Homework problems will often be drawn from these texts. The text Abstract Algebra by Dummit and Foote is also an excellent source for the material we plan to cover.

Instructor: Professor D. Katz

Office: Snow Hall 501

Office Hours: MWF 12-12:50pm and by appointment. If you need help outside of office hours, you are more than welcome schedule a Zoom meeting or send an email whenever you have questions about the course or questions about problems on a homework assignment.

E-mail: dlk53 AT ku dot edu

Daily Update: After each class, a synopsis of what was covered will appear here Daily Update.

Homework Assignments: Homework will be assigned daily, but is not to be turned in. You are encouraged to work together on homework problems, since it is often more fun to solve problems together. However, to bolster your proof writing skills, I recommend that you write up the solutions on your own. Learning mathematics is like learning a language, and the latter cannot be done without significant daily practice. The homework problems will give you plenty of opportunity to practice. You are responsible for all material covered in the homework assignments, especially since the take home exams have been known to include homework problems. Check here for the daily assignments: Math 791 Homework.

Take Home Exams:There will be three take-home exams, roughly one each covering groups, rings and fields. NO collaboration will be allowed on these exams, nor will you be able to consult any resources such as textbooks, the internet, other graduate students or professors (other than your Math 791 professor). You can consult your class notes. Please note that each exam will be handed out on a Monday and will be due Monday of the following week.

Solutions to Exam I, Solutions to Exam 2, Solutions to Exam 3

Final Exam: The final exam will be held in our classroom on Wednesday May 8, from 10:30am to 1:00pm.

Course grading: Three take home exams (100 points each) and the final exam (200 points). Total: 500 points.

Grading scale: A = 400-500 points, B = 300-399 points, C = 200-299 points, D = 100-199 points, F = 0-99 points.

Best of luck this semester!


Students with disability

The KU Office of Disability Resources (DR) coordinates accommodations and services for all eligible students with disabilities. If you have a disability and wish to request accommodations and have not contacted DR, please do so as soon as possible. Their office is located in 22 Strong Hall; their phone number is 785-864-2620 (V/TTY). Information about their services can be found at www.disability.ku.edu. Please also contact me privately in regard to your needs in this course.

Policy on religious observances

Any student who has a conflict between the course schedule and a religious holiday should contact the instructor as soon as possible.

Additional resources and policy information

Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with University Policies and Student Resources. Relevant information may be found here: Resources and policies