Course Guidelines Math
Dr. R. Beezer Fall 2008
Text We will be using Abstract Algebra: Theory and Applications, by Thomas W. Judson as our textbook. We will cover material from the first 14 chapters (Chapter 0 through Chapter 13).
Home Page Start at http://buzzard.ups.edu/courses.html to locate the WWW page for this course.
Office Hours My office is in Thompson 303; the telephone number is 879–3564. Making appointments or simple, non-mathematical questions can be handled via electronic mail — my address is email@example.com. Office Hours are 10:00–10:50 on Monday and Friday, and 9:30-10:50 on Tuesday and Thursday. You may make an appointment for other times, or just drop by my office. Office hours are your opportunity to receive extra help or clarification on material from class, or to discuss any other aspect of the course.
Homework Homework will be assigned for each chapter, but will not be collected. Of course, you are not limited to working just these assigned problems. Once a week, generally on Friday, we will have a problem session where we can discuss these problems. It is your responsibility to be certain that you are learning from the homework exercises. The best ways to do this are to work the problems diligently when assigned and to participate in the classroom discussion. If at this point you are still unsure about a problem, then a visit to my office is in order. Making a consistent effort outside of the classroom is the easiest way to do well in this course.
Mathematics not only demands straight thinking, it grants the student the satisfaction
of knowing when he [or she] is thinking straight.
— D. Jackson
Mathematics is not a spectator sport.
I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.
— Chinese Proverb
An education is not received. It is achieved.
Reading Questions Reading questions will be posted on the course WWW page for each chapter. Your answers are due back to me by midnight the evening before we begin discussing a new chapter (usually this will be Monday night). These should be submited to the email address announced in class, not my firstname.lastname@example.org address.
Quizzes There will be eleven one-hour quizzes — see the attached sheet for tentative dates — though mostly they will be on Monday, at the conclusion of each chapter. The lowest two of your quiz scores will be dropped. The comprehensive final exam will be given at 8 AM on Monday, December 15. The final exam cannot be given at any other time, so be certain that you do not make any travel plans that conflict, and also be aware that I will allow you to work longer on the final exam than just the two-hour scheduled block of time.
Grades will be based on the following breakdown: Quizzes — 75%; Reading Questions — 5%; Final —
20%. Homework, attendance and improvement will be considered for borderline grades. Scores will be
posted on the World Wide Web at
Reminders Two reminders about university policies contained in the Academic Handbook. These are described thoroughly online, or a printed copy may be requested from the Registrar’s Office (basement of Jones Hall).
Withdrawal grades are often misunderstood. A Withdrawal grade (W) can only be given during the third through sixth weeks of the semester, after that time (barring unusual circumstances), the appropriate grade is a Withdrawal Failing (WF), even if your work has been of passing quality. See the attached schedule for the last day to drop with an automatic ‘W’. See http://www.ups.edu/x4727.xml#withdrawal.
All of your graded work is expected to be entirely your own work — this includes reading questions. Anything to the contrary is a violation of the university’s comprehensive policy on Academic Honesty (cheating and plagiarism). Discovered incidents will be handled strictly, in accordance with this policy. Penalties can include failing the course and range up to being expelled from the university. See http://www.ups.edu/x4718.xml.
Attendance Daily attendance is required, expected, and overall a pretty good idea.
Purpose At this point in your college career, you should be well on your way to being an independent scholar, who appreciates the beauty of mathematics and understands the effort needed to master new and difficult ideas. Consistent with that, I will be giving you a fair degree of freedom to learn this material in a manner that suits you.
Read the book before the lectures, work the exercises diligently, tidy up your class notes each evening, and ask questions. Arriving late to class, or having conversations with others during class, not only disrupts your peers, but tells me you are not serious about your education. I will not routinely check attendance, but our class is small enough that I will notice when you are not here, and again this will be another way that you signal me about your commitment to the endeavor.
Many consider group theory (the branch of Abstract Algebra that we will concentrate on this semester) one of the most fascinating areas of mathematics. The investment of your time and energy applied to studying it will be amply repaid by a full understanding of its deeper ideas.
Chapter 0, 1
Quiz 0, 1
Last Day for ‘W’
Monday, December 15, 8:00 AM