**Lecture:** TuTh 12:30-1:45 Burnett Hall (Bur) 120

**Instructor:** Mark Brittenham

**Office:** Oldfather Hall (OldH) 819

**Telephone:** (47)2-7222

**E-mail:** mbritten@math.unl.edu

**WWW:** http://www.math.unl.edu/~ mbritten/

**WWW pages for this class:** http://www.math.unl.edu/~ mbritten/classwk/310f01/

(There you will find copies of nearly every handout from class, lists of homework problems assigned, dates for exams, etc.)

**Office Hours:** (tentatively) Mo 11:00-12:00, Tu 2:00 - 3:00, We 1:00-2:00,
and Th 9:30 - 10:30, and whenever you can find me in my office and I'm not
horrendously busy. You are also quite welcome to make an appointment
for any other time; this is easiest to arrange just before or
after class.

**Text:** *A Concrete Introduction to Higher Algebra*,
by Lindsay N. Childs (2nd edition, Springer).

This course, as its name is meant to imply, is intended to introduce you to
the theory, techniques, and applications of modern algebra. Our primary focus
is on the theory underlying the study of `algebraic' objects like
the integers and polynomials, and how a single approach can unify the
study of both kinds of objects. The selection of topics will be guided partly
by the interests of the class; but we will make probably a good stab at
covering most of the material from the first 16 chapters of the text.

**Homework** will be assigned each week, and collected
one week after it is assigned.
It is an essential ingredient to the course - as with almost all of
mathematics, we learn best by doing (again and again and ...). Cooperation
with other students on these assignments is acceptable, and even
encouraged. However, you must write up solutions on your own - after
all, you get to bring only one brain to exams (and it can't be someone
else's). For the same reason, I also recommend that you try working
each problem on your own, first. The homework grades will
count 30% toward your final grade.
Late homework may be marked as turned in but not graded.

**Midterm exams** will be given two times during the
semester - the specific dates will be announced in class
well in advance of each exam. Each exam will count 20%
toward your grade. You can take a
make-up exam only if there are compelling reasons (a doctor SAYS
you were sick, jury duty, etc.) for you to miss an exam. Make-up
exams tend to be harder than the originals (because make-up exams
are harder to write!).

Finally, there will be a regularly scheduled **final exam** on
Thursday, December 20, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
It will cover the entire course, with a slight emphasis
on material covered after the last midterm exam. It will count the
remaining 30% toward your grade.

**Math 310H**: Students taking this class for honors credit will have
a slightly increased workload. Each homework assignment will include
at least one problem written for Math 310H students (Math 310
students may work them for extra credit). Exams will include some
slightly different problems. Finally, Math 310H students will be
assigned a **project** toward the middle of the semester, which
you will work on in groups of 3 or 4. The project will count an
``additional'' 10% toward the final grade; that is, a ``final'' grade will actually
be computed out of 110%, and then scaled back to 100%. Put
differently, the homework, midterm, and final exam scores will really count
only 10/11's of what they otherwise would. Students enrolled in Math 310
will be welcome to work the project as well, for extra credit.

**Your course grade** will be calculated numerically using the above scales,
and will be converted to a letter grade based partly on the overall average of the
class. However, a score of 90% or better will guarantee some kind of **A**, 80%
or better at least some sort of **B**, 70% or better at least a flavor of
**C**, and 60% or
better at least a **D**.

In mathematics, new concepts continually rely upon the mastery
of old ones; it is therefore essential that you thoroughly understand each
new topic before moving on. Our classes are an important opportunity for you to ask
questions; to make
__sure__ that you are understanding concepts correctly.
Speak up! It's
__your__ education at stake. Make every effort to resist
the temptation to put off work, and to fall behind. Every topic has to be gotten
through, not around. And it's alot easier to read 50 pages in a week than it is
in a day. Try to do some mathematics every single day. (I do.)
**Class attendance** is probably your best way to insure that you will keep
up with the material, and make sure that you understand all of the
concepts.

**Departmental Grading Appeals Policy:** Students who believe their
academic evaluation has been prejudiced or capricious have recourse for appeals
to (in order) the instructor, the departmental chair, the departmental appeals
committee, and
the college appeals committee.

**Aug. 27** First day of classes.

**Sept. 3** Labor Day - no classes.

**Sept. 7** Last day to withdraw from a course without a **`W'**.

**Oct. 19** Last day to change to or from P/NP.

**Oct. 22-23** Fall break - no classes.

**Nov. 16** Last day to withdraw from a course.

**Nov. 21** Student holiday - no classes.

**Nov. 22-23** Thanksgiving Vacation - no classes.

**Dec. 15** Last day of classes.

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