Abstract Algebra

Rutgers MATH 451, Fall 2020.
Abstract Algebra

An Element of the Braid Group

Abstract Algebra, Syllabus and Course Structure

Welcome to synchronous remote Abstract Algebra!


This is primarily a course in group theory. Our main source will be Algebra by Michael Artin, either the first or second editions.

We will cover roughly the material in chapters 2, 6 and 7 of the second edition, which corresponds to chapters 2, 5 and 6 of the first edition.

Having access to the material in the textbook will be important.

Course Structure

Short assignments based on assigned reading will be made available Sunday and Tuesday evenings, due roughly 24 hours after being posted. These will be primarily graded for completion, and you will have the opportunity here to give feedback on your understanding of the material, so that I know which things are well understood and which things are less clear to everyone. In addition, there will be a standard length weekly homework assignment given out on Tuesday and due Thursday. Finally, once a month we will have longer cumulative homework assignments.

In the lectures, I will assume that all students have done the assigned reading. I will try to supplement the material by adding extra details and examples as needed. The format will likely be as much of a discussion as a lecture.


The course grade will be based on these homework assignments as follows:

How to be successful

To be successful in the course will require:

In practical terms, if you want to do well in the course, it is absolutely essential that you keep up with the material in a timely way. Late homework will generally not be accepted.

Coffee Hours

On Wednesday, we will take some time for coffee hours/ office hours/ tea time. This will consist of an open Zoom meeting for roughly 1 hour where students can drop in and chat. While course questions will have precedence, everyone is welcome to come by and socialize as well.