Algebra I, MATH 235
Fall 2015

Instructor: Prof. Eyal Goren
Office: Burnside Hall 1108
Office hours: MWF, 14:30 - 15:30
Lecture hours: MWF, 13:35 - 14:25, Maass 112
TA Office hours and tutorial sessions:

This page only gives the very basic information concerning the course. Discussion threads, corrections to assignments and clarifications for lectures will be posted on MyCourses.

Syllabus (calendar description): Sets, functions and relations. Methods of proof. Complex numbers. Divisibility theory for integers and modular arithmetic. Divisibility theory for polynomials. Rings, ideals and quotient rings. Fields and construction of fields from polynomial rings. Groups, subgroups and cosets; group actions on sets.
Prerequisites: MATH 133 or equivalent.
Text book: The official textbook for the course are my course notes (free :-) ). They will be updated and expanded during the term (but not in any substantial way; essentially adding examples, updates, perhaps some material here and there, correcting typos and so on). Updated versions appear on mycourses. There are scores of various textbooks in the library that you can use, but that shouldn't be necessary and you should be aware that there could be some differences in terminology, or the logical dependency of topics, and the course notes are considered the official version. I will follow my course notes closely (what's the point, otherwise?!)

Assignments:Weekly assignments. Published every Monday and handed in every Monday by 16:00 (with some exceptions). For a total of about 10 assignments.

Midterm: October 27, 18:00 - 19:30 in ADAMS AUD and MNI TIMMINS. The scope of the material will be determined later.
Final: Date to be determined.
Calculation of final grade: The better of two options. Option 1: 10% assignments, 20% midterm, 70% final exam. Option 2: 100% final exam. You will automatically get the better of the two.

: Although in theory you can dispense with handing in assignments and writing the midterm and still get 100% for the course based on the final exam only, it is not a good strategy. In almost every case students that handed in good course-work and had studied well for the midterm got a higher grade using Option 1 than using Option 2. This was true for the very good students, often giving them an A instead of a lower grade, as well as for the weaker students - in many cases granting a passing grade instead of failing the course.
    The assignments are the only way to make sure you understand the material at the level that we expect of you and to make sure you are not falling behind. Copying solutions of assignments from friends, webpages and text books, is not only considered cheating, but is depriving you of the best method to check your understanding and discover your gaps and misconception (yes, by getting a lower grade).
Studying: I recommend finding a partner to study with. It's important to find a suitable partner based on being of equal strength. Discussing math as equals is not only the best way to understand the material, it's also fun! I also recommend making full use of the resources offered to you: a course blog hosted on mycourses, my and the TAs' office hours, the course notes and additional textbooks that you find useful, the math help center on the 9th floor.

Mandatory Statements:
Academic integrity: McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore, all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see for more information).
Submitting work: In accord with McGill University's Charter of Students' Rights, students in this course have the right to submit in English or in French any written work that is to be graded.
Syllabus and Grade Calculation: In the event of extraordinary circumstances beyond the University's control, the content and/or evaluation scheme in this course is subject to change.