Math 31: Topics in Algebra
We will have weekly quizzes, which are designed to check your understanding
and recall of the fundamental concepts without the aid of your textbook or notes. They
will generally focus on the statements of definitions and theorems, and you may need to
provide some simple examples or perform short computations. They will generally be given
each Friday at the beginning of class, for a total of 8 quizzes. Each quiz should take no
more than 10 minutes.
If expect to miss class on the day of a quiz, you need to let me know in
advance (i.e., before the start of that class) so we can arrange for you to make it up.
You will not be able to make up missed quizzes otherwise.
I may give you the chance to earn a bonus point on each quiz by researching
a famous algebraist in the week beforehand. Stay tuned for details.
There will be two exams in this course: one midterm exam and a final exam.
The two exams will have slightly different formats.
Midterm: The midterm will be divided into two parts – an
in-class portion and a take-home exam.
The in-class part will be designed to test basic concepts, such as statements of
definitions and theorems. There will also be some fairly basic proof questions. This
part of the exam will be closed-book. As an indicator of the level of
difficulty for the proof questions, I will hand out a list of practice questions in
advance of the exam. These questions should give you an idea of the sorts of things
that I expect you to be able to prove on your own. The exam questions will not
necessarily come from the practice list, but they will be of the same level of
difficulty. This part of the exam will be given in the x-hour on July 23rd.
Here are some notes on the midterm exam, including sample problems for the in-class
part: Midterm Review
The take-home portion will be open-book. This means that you may use the course text
(Saracino), the reserve text (Gallian), your lecture notes, and old homework
assignments. Other textbooks and physical materials are off limits, as are any
electronic sources (i.e., the internet). Also, you are not allowed to collaborate with
one another, and you should not expect help from me, other than clarification of
questions. The questions will mostly ask you to prove things that are slightly more
difficult than the questions asked on the in-class exam. There may also be some
computational questions. This part of the exam will be due in class on Friday, July
Here are solutions to the in-class and
take-home midterm exams.
Final: The final exam will be entirely take-home. The same rules
given for the take-home midterm will apply here. The exam will be handed out in the last
few days of class and will be due during the final exam period.
Dates for exams:
The in-class midterm will be held on Tuesday, July 23rd in the x-hour. The
take-home part will be handed out at the end of the in-class exam, due
Friday, July 26th at the beginning of class.
The take-home final will be handed out on the last day of class (August 21st). It will
be due by 5 PM on Monday, August 26th.