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BSc Mathematics / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Algebraic Structures 2
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||Department of Mathematics|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This course builds on Algebraic Structures 1, which is a prerequisite, and continues the strong emphasis on examples.
The algebraic structures of rings and fields will be introduced. The construction of quotient rings and the relationship with homomorphisms is one of the main themes. These ideas will be used to construct roots of polynomials in extension fields. Factorisation in polynomial rings and rings of integers of number fields will also be studied.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Foundations of Pure Mathematics A||MATH10101||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
|Linear Algebra A||MATH10202||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
|Algebraic Structures 1||MATH20201||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
The course unit unit aims to introduce the algebraic structures of rings and fields; describe the quotient structure and its connection with homomorphisms of rings; present important examples rings and develop some of their properties with particular emphasis on polynomial rings and factorisation in rings.
On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:
- define rings, domains and division rings, and describe standard examples,
- state and prove properties of rings and apply these to standard examples,
- describe and recognise special types of elements in rings including zero divisors, units, nilpotents, idempotents and irreducible elements,
- define and recognise homomorphisms of rings and state and prove properties of homomorphisms,
- define an ideal of a ring and state and prove properties of ideals,
- define a factor ring, state and prove properties of factor rings and construct factor rings,
- describe properties of polynomial rings, calculate greatest common divisors and factorize polynomials in K[X] where K is a field,
- state and prove Kronecker's Theorem and use this to construct extension fields.
1.Definitions and examples of rings (rings of numbers, rings of matrices, quaternions, rings of endomorphisms, group rings, rings of polynomials, subrings); [4 lectures]
2.Domains, fields and division rings; nilpotent and idempotent elements, products of rings; (many) examples; with students gaining familiarity with the ideas and examples through attempting exercises. 
3.Isomorphisms and homomorphisms (of rings): what is preserved and reflected; kernel of a homomorphism, ideals; principal ideals, operations on ideals. 
4.The quotient construction (for rings): the construction and connection with homomorphisms; maximal ideals; ideals of the quotient ring; examples. 
5.Polynomial rings and unique factorisation: polynomial rings; division algorithm; unique factorisation. 
6.Constructing roots of polynomials: construction of extension fields; examples, including finite fields. 
- Coursework; Weighting within unit 20%
- End of semester examination; Weighting within unit 80%
Feedback tutorials will provide an opportunity for students' work to be discussed and provide feedback on their understanding. Coursework or in-class tests (where applicable) also provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback. Students can also get feedback on their understanding directly from the lecturer, for example during the lecturer's office hour.
J.B. Fraleigh, A First Course in Abstract Algebra, (any edition: the library has many copies) Addison-Wesley (recommended but not essential).
Also similar books like:
R.B.J.T. Allenby, Rings, Fields and Groups: an Introduction to Abstract Algebra, Addison-Wesley.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Louise Walker||Unit coordinator|
The independent study hours will normally comprise the following. During each week of the taught part of the semester:
· You will normally have approximately 60-75 minutes of video content. Normally you would spend approximately 2-2.5 hrs per week studying this content independently
· You will normally have exercise or problem sheets, on which you might spend approximately 1.5hrs per week
· There may be other tasks assigned to you on Blackboard, for example short quizzes or short-answer formative exercises
· In some weeks you may be preparing coursework or revising for mid-semester tests
Together with the timetabled classes, you should be spending approximately 6 hours per week on this course unit.
The remaining independent study time comprises revision for and taking the end-of-semester assessment.