Algebra (Math 200 A)

Fall 2019

Lectures:     T, Th  11:00 AM--12:25 PM    APM B412
Office Hour:     T   8:30 AM--10:00 AM   APM 7230
TA: Jacob Postema (jpostemaucsd edu)
Office hour: M 4-5, W 2-3 APM 5801


Here is a list of good textbooks that you can consult for reference. I will be posting my lecture notes in this page, and I hope you would find them useful. I will not cover the topics in the same order as they are presented in the main text book; and we will learn some topics that are not covered in the main book. The main book has an excellent collection of problems and examples; and I encourage you to go over them and ask me or Francois if you have difficulty solving any of them.

  • Dummit and Foote, Abstract Algebra third edition. (The main text book).
  • Isaacs, Algebra .
  • Hungerford, Algebra .
  • Rotman, An introduction to the theory of groups. (For the group theory part of the course).


The main topics for the fall quarter will be group and ring theory , Chapters 1-9 in the text. We will discuss some topics that are not covered in the main book as well. I know that all of you had undergraduate algebra courses before. So this will be a fast paced course, and we will discuss more advanced topics.


Problem sets will be posted here. Make sure to refresh your bowser.

  • Due Oct 10: Here is the first problem set.
  • Due Oct 17: Section 4.5, problems 16, 35, 44, 51. Problems 4, 5, 6, and 7 of Here .
  • Not Due: Here is the third problem set.
  • Due Oct 31: Here is the forth problem set.
  • Due Nov 14: Here is the fifth problem set.
  • Due Nov 21: Here is the sixth problem set.
  • Due Dec 5: Here is the seventh problem set.
  • Not Due:
My notes.

You can use my lecture notes from last year.


  • Homework are due on Thursdays 12:30 am. You should hand them to me before the lecture.
  • Late Homework are not accepted.
  • There will be 8 problem sets. Your cumulative homework grade will be based on the best 7 of the 8.
  • You can work on the problems with your classmates and discuss them with me or Francois, but you have to write down your own version. Copying from other's solutions is not accepted and is considered cheating. Copying from an online solution bank is not acceptable, either.
  • Only selected problems will be scored, but you are responsible for understanding all the posted problems (including the ones that are not part of the homework assignments).
  • A good portion of the exams will be based on the weekly problem sets. So it is extremely important for you to make sure that you understand each one of them.

  • Your weighted score is the best of
    • Homework 25%+ midterm 25%+ Final 50%
    • Homework 25%+ Final 75%
  • Your letter grade is determined by your weighted score. And it is meant to suggest how your current performance corresponds to your likely result on the qualifying exam to be held next year: A = PhD Pass, A- = Provisional PhD Pass, B+/B = Master’s Pass, B- or less = not likely to pass the qual.
Further information
  • There is no make-up exam.
  • Keep all of your returned homework and exams. If there is any mistake in the recording of your scores, you will need the original assignment in order for us to make a change.
  • No notes, textbooks, calculators and electronic devices are allowed during exams.

  • Midterm:
    • Time: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.
    • Location: this is an in-class exam.
    • Topics: All the topics that are discussed in class, till the end of Lecture 8.
    • Questions are fairly similar to the homework assignments and the examples discussed in the class. Make sure that you know how to solve anyone of them.
  • The final exam:
    • Date: Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019, 11:30a-2:19p.
    • Location: APM B412
    • Topics: All the topics that were discussed in class, your homework assignments, and relevant examples and exercises in your book.
    • Questions are fairly similar to the homework assignments and the examples discussed in the class. Make sure that you know how to solve anyone of them.