Math 3310 Introduction to
Fall Semester 2015-2016
This course meets MWF 11 in Campion Hall, Room 300.
Welcome to the Math 3310 course
website for Prof. Friedberg's class. This website is the
primary way for you to get information about our course, including
the homework assignments. It also contains the course
Note: Many of
the documents contained herein require Adobe Acrobat
Reader to view and print. If you open a document
and are asked to find Acrobat Reader, there is a
copy in the Eaglenet Resources folder. If you need to
install a copy on your computer, you may download a free
copy from the Adobe
This course is concerned with
abstract algebra. This is one of the most fundamental
areas of modern mathematics. The idea is to study
mathematical structures with simple rules---so simple that they
may be found in many different areas---and yet to see that these
simple rules impose a rich structure upon the
objects. Much of the course will be concerned with
Group Theory. Groups are behind games such as the Rubrik's
cube, and they are also behind the study of symmetries in
physics and secure data transmission in computer science.
They play a central role in modern mathematics. We will
also study objects called Rings. These objects mimic the
integers, and yet may be subtly different.
Their properties will allow us to discover new facts about the
integers themselves. Finally, we will study Fields.
These are Rings with extra structure. They are important
in understanding the solutions to equations and are also used in
coding theory and in cryptography.
This is a foundational upper
division course covering one of the subjects which is at the
center of modern mathematics. But it is intrinsically
sophisticated stuff. You can't get by just studying right
before the test. You need to go over your notes after each lecture. Learn the
definitions by heart. Work through the examples (in both
text and lecture) until you understand them thoroughly.
Then learn the proofs as well as the Theorems. If you put this
off, you'll find that the lectures make use of material you have
not yet worked through, and you'll get behind rapidly. But
if you keep up---and don't hesitate to ask questions in class or
in office hours if you're confused by something---then the
course will work well. The material is intrinsically
beautiful, and you'll be introduced to the power of modern
Please note: This course satisfies the algebra
requirement for the B.A. degree in mathematics. Students
considering the B.S. degree should take Math 3311 and not this
I am very happy to answer your
questions and to help you with the homework. My Office
Hours during the semester are Monday and Friday 10-11 and
Wednesday 12-1 in Maloney 523. These times are always
reserved for your questions and you do not need an appointment
during them. I am also available by appointment.
Please email me for one. Since I am Department Chair, I
find myself with a great many meetings and other scheduled
events, so please give me a few possible meeting times in your
email. I am always happy to work with students, so don't
hesitate to ask for an appointment!!
Here are the dates of the exams. Please note that full
information about the grading policy for this course may be found
in the syllabus (see link above). In particular, no makeups
or early examinations are given in this course.
Hour Exam Dates: Tentatively scheduled for Friday, October 9, 2015 and Monday, November 16, 2015.
Please note that October 9 is the day before the Columbus Day
The Final Examination is
on Tuesday, December 15, 2015
at 12:30 p.m.
Important: The date and time
of the final examination is fixed by the Registrar and may not
be changed. Note that you MUST attend the final
examination at that time.
Do you want to typeset your homework? Here's
Though it takes a while to get the hang of it, this is recommended
as it will help you write mathematics clearly. To do
so, try using LaTeX. This is the standard software in use in
mathematics (and many other areas). And it's free.
1. Downloading LaTeX:
Some Math Links
2. The Association for Women in
Mathematics supports women in
mathematics at all levels of study. The "AWM Resources" link
connects you to many other sites with useful
information. They also sponsor an annual biography
contest concerning contemporary women mathematicians.
See the website for details. The deadline for the 2016
AWM Essay Contest is January 31, 2016
3. The Math Forum Student
Center has math resources for
undergraduates (and a little for grad students).
4. Math Horizons is a magazine for students interested in
mathematics that aims to expand their intellectual and career
5. Are you interested in history? Here is a website
concerned with the History of
Last revised: December 21, 2015. Copyright 2015 by Dr.
Solomon Friedberg. All rights reserved.