MATH439-12S1 (C) Semester One 2012

Topics in Algebra

0.1250 EFTS
20 Feb 2012 - 24 Jun 2012


Topics in Algebra

This course formally introduces rings and fields, which have been encountered at 100- and 200-level in special situations, and investigates their algebraic structure. It gives a deeper understanding of these algebraic concepts and thus provides a thorough grounding in the algebraic theory which underpins modern applications like cryptography, error-correcting codes, number theory or finite mathematics. If you are interested in any of these subjects or if you want to see how algebraic theory can be applied to solve certain geometric construction problems or prove their impossibility, then this is the course to take.

The topics covered by this course are:

• fundamentals of ring theory: subrings, ideals, factor rings, ring homomorphisms;  
• special rings: integral domains and polynomial rings and factorizations of elements therein;  
• fundamentals of field theory: field extensions, constructions of fields, in particular finite fields, and their uses, like the impossibility of certain geometric constructions such as trisecting the angle.

Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing this course should:

  • understand a range of basic algebraic concepts.
  • have developed a high level of competence at core algebraic skills.
  • be able to confidently apply algebraic concepts in practical settings.
  • be able to present clear and logical mathematical arguments.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department

Streams Day Time Where Notes
Stream 01 Wednesday 5:00pm-6:00pm A4 Lecture Theatre 20 Feb - 1 Apr,
30 Apr - 3 Jun
Thursday 9:00am-10:00am A5 Lecture Theatre 20 Feb - 1 Apr,
23 Apr - 3 Jun

Streams Day Time Where Notes
Stream 01 Tuesday 5:00pm-6:00pm Erskine 441 (Examples Class) 20 Feb - 26 Feb,
5 Mar - 11 Mar,
19 Mar - 25 Mar,
23 Apr - 29 Apr,
7 May - 13 May,
21 May - 27 May
5:00pm-6:00pm Erskine 445 27 Feb - 4 Mar,
12 Mar - 18 Mar,
26 Mar - 1 Apr,
30 Apr - 6 May,
14 May - 20 May,
28 May - 3 Jun

Course Coordinator

Gunter Steinke

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $788.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Mathematics and Statistics.

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