Applied Abstract Algebra MA 294

Summer II 2017

July 3 August 11




Instructor: Timothy Kohl


Office: MCS 235


Telephone: 617-353-8203


E-mail: (the best way to reach me!)


Office Hours: M, W: 4-5 and by appointment.


Lecture: SAR 104 M-Th 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Text: Discreet Mathematics (2ndh Ed.) Norman L. Biggs (Oxford University Press).


Remarks: The main prerequisites for this course are the topics covered in MA 293, namely combinatorics, set theory, and logic, as well as basic probability and number theory. In this course we shall discuss the fundamentals of group theory and ring/field theory with a view towards applications.



Outline of topics to be covered:

(Note: Not all sections in a given chapter are covered.)


Chapter 13 Modular Arithmetic

Chapter 20 Groups

Chapter 21 Groups of Permutations

Chapter 22 Rings, Fields and Polynomials

Chapter 23 Finite Fields

Chapter 24 Error Correcting Codes

Chapter 25 Generating Functions (time permitting)














Exams: During the semester there will be two exams worth 100 points each as well as a final exam worth 200 points.


Homework: During the term, I will generally assign homework on a daily basis. This homework is your primary means of learning the material, even more so than the lectures. Indeed, it is only by actually working out the solutions to problems that one really learns this material. Not doing homework is a bad idea and will result in a poor performance in the course.


Additionally, there will be, throughout the course of the semester, 5 turn-in homework assignments, each worth 20 points, for a total possible maximum of 100 points if you complete each perfectly. Each turn-in assignment will generally be assigned at the end of each week and be due on the following Monday.


Grading: Your grade in the course will be based on the combined sum of 5 turn-in homework assignments, as well as the two exams and final exam, out of a maximum possible total of 500 points.



Cheating: I consider cheating and plagiarism to be very serious offenses, and any cases of it will merit action by the University Academic Standards Committee.



Important Dates:


Tuesday July 4th Holiday

Friday July 7th Substitute class due to the holiday on July 4th.

Thursday July 13 - Exam 1

Thursday July 27 - Exam 2

Thursday Aug 10 - Final Exam


The last lecture will be Wednesday August 9.



Web Page: There is a web page for the course where you can find the homework assignments listed, as well as the syllabus and other materials that will be made available during the course.


The URL is: