Math 421 -- Fall 2016
About this course.
Group theory is the branch of mathematics that studies symmetry, found in crystals, art, architecture, music and many other contexts.
This course will be a very detailed introduction to group theory and related topics.
Here is an official pdf of the syllabus for this course. (There is no information on this pdf that is not on the webpage.)
This class will meet 28 times and we will cover chapters 0-11 of the textbook and a few additional topics. The textbook is thorough and beautifully written; the expectation is that, in addition to the weekly written homework, you will read every word of the textbook.
The midterm is worth 30 percent.
The final exam will be comprehensive and will count for 30 percent.
Homework is worth 40 percent. Seriously! If you do not stay on
top of the homework, you will have a bad time in this class.
The midterm date below is tenative (and may be adjusted if the pace of the course is adjusted), but the date of the final exam is set in stone; make your summer travel plans accordingly. If you have a conflict with the final exam (e.g., another final) please let me know ASAP.
| Homework || 40% || (Weekly, due Thursdays at the beginning of class) |
| Midterm || 30% || (Th, Oct 20) |
| Final Exam || 30% || (Dec 8)||
Calculators, notes, and textbooks are not allowed in exams or quizzes.
The final letter grades will be curved, but the following table gives a lower bound on your grade:
There will be homework assigned roughly every week, due on Thursday at the beginning of class. There
will be many simple problems, checking your understanding of the
definitions, that will be collected and graded for completness but not
correctness. Most weeks there will be a number of proofs assigned. You
are expected to write them up very carefully.
3-6 of problems will be carefully graded, and you will receive an additional 20 for completing the assignment.
Homework assignments will typically be worth 100 points (20 for completeness, and 80 for graded problems).
The homework assignments are available at this link, and will be updated after each lecture.
Remember that copying another student's work is a violation of the
Honor Code and will be treated as such. If you must leave class during
an exam for any reason, please leave all of your belongings
handheld supercomputer phone!).
For homework: you are free to consult any sources (animate or
inanimate) while doing your homework (working in groups is
encouraged!), but if you use anything (or anyone) other than your
class notes or the texts listed above, you should say so on your
homework -- please state at the end of every problem any sources used.
On the other hand, you are expected to make an honest attempt to do every problem on your own before consulting other sources. Remember that copying another student's work is a violation of the Honor Code and will be treated as such.
A good rule of thumb to avoid plagarism is the following -- when doing
the final write up of a problem, do not have any text books, web
pages, or classmate's write up in front of you. If you get stuck when
writing up an assignment, go back and look again; just make sure that
you organize the mathematics in your head before writing a proof
rather than copying a solution from some source. This is a
generous homework policy. Please do not abuse it.
The ability to overload a course has been phased out in favor of the capacity for waitlisting a course in Opus.
All Math and CS courses have a waitlist attached (except permission-only classes). A guide to using OPUS's waitlist
functionality can be found here