## MATH342 Modern Algebra

Second Semester |

Modern algebra is studied all over the world, perhaps not surprisingly in view of its international beginnings in the late 1700s with work of the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, the French mathematician Joseph Louis Lagrange, and the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. Their work led to the introduction in the 1800s of the unifying abstract algebraic concepts of a group and a ring, the first of these pioneered by Arthur Cayley, the second by Richard Dedekind. These two notions of a group (a set with a standard operation, usually called multiplication) and a ring (a set with two operations, usually called addition and multiplication) are very important in many of the sciences as well as mathematics in both its pure and applied branches. Even after more than 100 years since their introduction, most of today’s research in modern algebra involves the study of either groups or rings (or both!)

### Paper details

The learning aims of the paper are principally to develop the notions of groups and rings, to see how these arise in a variety of mathematical settings, and to establish their fundamental properties. We will also study practical applications of these objects to cryptography and to detecting/correcting errors that occur in transmission of data.

### Potential students

This paper will be of interest to anyone who wishes to see how algebraic properties and phenomena arising in different branches of mathematics and science can be described and understood using the concepts of groups and rings, and how these concepts can be applied to contemporary practical problems regarding private and accurate communciation of data across insecure or unreliable channels.

Students who wish to pursue their interests in algebra should take this course as a foundation to more advanced papers in the theory of groups, Galois Theory, rings, modules and algebras.

### Prerequisites

MATH 202

### Main topics

- Groups; subgroups; homomorphism and isomorphism; cosets and normal subgroups; quotient groups; Lagrange’s theorem, RSA encryption.
- Rings; subrings; homomorphism and isomorphism; ideals; quotient rings; integral domains; fields; polynomial rings; factorisation in rings, error-correcting codes.

### Required text

No required text - comprehensive course notes will be provided.

### Lecturer

Dr. Dominic Searles, Room 219.

### Lectures

Monday 10-11, Wednesday 11-12, alternate Fridays 11-12. Location TBA.

### Tutorial

Thursday 9-10. Location TBA.

### Final mark

Your final mark F in the paper will be calculated according to this formula:

**F = max(E, (2E + A)/3)**

where:

- E is the Exam mark
- A is the Assignments mark

and all quantities are expressed as percentages.

### Students must abide by the University’s Academic Integrity Policy

**Academic integrity** means being honest in your studying and assessments. It is the basis for ethical decision-making and behaviour in an academic context. Academic integrity is informed by the values of honesty, trust, responsibility, fairness, respect and courage.

**Academic misconduct** is seeking to gain for yourself, or assisting another person to gain, an academic advantage by deception or other unfair means. The most common form of academic misconduct is plagiarism.

Academic misconduct in relation to work submitted for assessment (including all course work, tests and examinations) is taken very seriously at the University of Otago.

All students have a responsibility to understand the requirements that apply to particular assessments and also to be aware of acceptable academic practice regarding the use of material prepared by others. Therefore it is important to be familiar with the rules surrounding academic misconduct at the University of Otago; they may be different from the rules in your previous place of study.

Any student involved in academic misconduct, whether intentional or arising through failure to take reasonable care, will be subject to the University’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures which contain a range of penalties.

If you are ever in doubt concerning what may be acceptable academic practice in relation to assessment, you should clarify the situation with your lecturer before submitting the work or taking the test or examination involved.

Types of academic misconduct are as follows:

**Plagiarism**

The University makes a distinction between unintentional plagiarism (Level One) and intentional plagiarism (Level Two).

- Although not intended,
*unintentional plagiarism*is covered by the Student Academic Misconduct Procedures. It is usually due to lack of care, naivety, and/or to a lack to understanding of acceptable academic behaviour. This kind of plagiarism can be easily avoided. *Intentional plagiarism*is gaining academic advantage by copying or paraphrasing someone elses work and presenting it as your own, or helping someone else copy your work and present it as their own. It also includes self-plagiarism which is when you use your own work in a different paper or programme without indicating the source. Intentional plagiarism is treated very seriously by the University.

**Unauthorised Collaboration**

Unauthorised Collaboration occurs when you work with, or share work with, others on an assessment which is designed as a task for individuals and in which individual answers are required. This form does not include assessment tasks where students are required or permitted to present their results as collaborative work. Nor does it preclude collaborative effort in research or study for assignments, tests or examinations; but unless it is explicitly stated otherwise, each students answers should be in their own words. If you are not sure if collaboration is allowed, check with your lecturer..

**Impersonation**

Impersonation is getting someone else to participate in any assessment on your behalf, including having someone else sit any test or examination on your behalf.

**Falsiﬁcation**

Falsiﬁcation is to falsify the results of your research; presenting as true or accurate material that you know to be false or inaccurate.

**Use of Unauthorised Materials**

Unless expressly permitted, notes, books, calculators, computers or any other material and equipment are not permitted into a test or examination. Make sure you read the examination rules carefully. If you are still not sure what you are allowed to take in, check with your lecturer.

**Assisting Others to Commit Academic Misconduct**

This includes impersonating another student in a test or examination; writing an assignment for another student; giving answers to another student in a test or examination by any direct or indirect means; and allowing another student to copy answers in a test, examination or any other assessment.