Syllabus: MA 441, Algebraic Structures I

Fall 2003

Instructor: Emil Volcheck

Time and Location: Monday, Wednesday 4:30 - 5:45 PM, Knott Hall 009

Course Description:
Prerequisites: MA301, MA395. An investigation of the fundamental algebraic systems of groups, rings, and fields. Homomorphisms, cosets, Lagrange's theorem, quotient structures, and symmetry groups.

How to Reach Me

Course Resources

Text: Contemporary Abstract Algebra (5th edition), Joseph A. Gallian, Houghton-Mifflin, 2002

We will cover Chapters 0-7, 9, 10, and additional sections to be announced.

The primary course website is

The Blackboard site is The Blackboard site offers a discussion forum and displays grades.

Joseph Gallian's website


Grading will be based upon the following:

In addition, I will announce opportunities for extra credit, for instance, bonus problems.

I will follow Prof. George Mackiw's grading scale: A 92-100, A- 89-91, B+ 85-88, B 82-84, B- 79-81, C+ 75-78, C 71-74, C- 68-70, D+ 65-67, D 60-64, F 59 and below.

I'll typically assign homework on Monday, to be turned in the following Monday. I'll accept late homework at a penalty, but no later than the Wednesday of the week it is due.

Please make your submissions neat, legible, and readable. Pay attention to style and grammar. Write in complete and coherent sentences.

When doing homework, you may collaborate with classmates or seek help from any source, such as other faculty or other texts. Feel free to form study groups or use the Blackboard discussion forum. The written homework you submit must ultimately be your own work, not copied directly but rather written from your own understanding. By following this guideline, you can support and adhere to the Honor Code while working together and sharing information.

Below are a list of important dates including exams. If you have a conflict with an exam date, please inform me as soon as possible. If you have a good reason, I'll try to make alternate arrangements. If you miss an exam without having made alternate arrangements in advance, I'll need a very good reason to reschedule it for you, for instance, a written medical excuse.

Honor Code

Please refer to the Honor Code for a statement of principles on academic integrity.

With respect to this course, I will ask you to include an Honor Code pledge with exams. I won't require you to include the pledge with each homework, but I expect you to be honest and do your own work as described above.

Important Dates


I may need to update or revise this syllabus. I'll make sure to notify you of any updates by email and in class.

Questions and Concerns

Feel free to ask questions during class or to contact me outside class by phone or email. If you have any concerns of a more general nature about the course, please share them with me. If you have concerns that you don't feel comfortable sharing with me, such as regarding my performance as instructor, please raise the issue with the department chair, Dr. Morrell.

Return to home.

Last modified, 18 December 2003