Math 113, Introduction to Abstract Algebra

Spring 2012

MWF 2-3 PM, 3 Evans

Welcome to the course webpage for Math 113 (Section 1). Here you will find some general info about the course. This is also the place to look for homework assignments, occasional course notes, and other things that might interest you. This webpage is also available through our course page on bspace.

Textbook   Homework Policy   Exams   Homework Assignments   Material by Day   Various Notes   Back to Main Page 

Course Syllabus

Professor: Elena Fuchs
Office: 851 Evans
Email: efuchs at math dot berkeley dot edu
Office hours: Thurs 10:30AM-12:30PM, Thurs 3-4PM, or by appointment.

GSI: Semyon Dyatlov
GSI's email: dyatlov at math dot berkeley dot edu
GSI's office hours:

Textbook and Prerequisites:

The textbook we'll be using is Fraleigh's First Course in Algebra (7th edition) -- it is nicely organized and easy to read. However, no book is a perfect fit for everyone, and there are many other books you can look at for reference (I would be more than happy to recommend one for you).

The official prerequisite for this course is MAT 54. While we won't use too much of what you may have learned in that course, the assumption is that taking MAT 54 will have equipped you with the appropriate mathematical maturity needed for this class.

Homeworks, Exams, and Grading:

Your grade for the course is determined as follows: 15% for homework, 25% for each of two midterms, 55% for the final, and -20% for your lowest exam score. There will be no make up exams.

Homework (along with occasional supplementary notes) will be posted here and will be due every Friday at 3PM in class, or in my office by the same day/time (if you choose the office option, you can slide it under the door). The lowest two homework scores will be dropped. Therefore the policy is that no late homework will be accepted, especially since we will sometimes discuss the solutions to the homework problems in class.

The midterms will be in class on Wednesday, February 29 and Wednesday, April 4.

Course Outline:

Abstract Algebra (a.k.a. just Algebra) is a beautiful subject which will arm you with tools that will prove indispensable in a very broad range of mathematics courses (from geometry to number theory) in the future. By the end of the semester, we will cover the basics of groups, rings, and fields. Basically, these are all sets which come together with certain operations: a group is a set with one binary operation which abides by some rules; a ring is a set with two binary operations which abide by some rules; and a field is a kind of special ring.

For many students this course may be the first (or one of the first) course in which they are challenged to think like a mathematician: through homeworks, exams, and hopefully discussions with classmates, students will become comfortable with creating and writing rigorous mathematical proofs. This skill is essential to all upper division courses in mathematics, and to any mathematician in general.

Basic Plan:

Detailed Plan:

Some supplementary notes:

Homework assignments:

Graded homeworks can be picked up in office hours or in class on Fridays. Graded midterms can be picked up in office hours.