Math 3020A: Introduction to Abstract Algebra (Fall 2019)

Essential information

  • Lectures: Tu 9:30-10:30, Th 9:30-11:30 in MC 107
  • Office hours: Th 3:30-5 in MC 116 or by appointment
  • Instructor: Chris Kapulkin
  • Email: kkapulki (at)
  • Office: MC 116
  • Teaching assistants: Brandon Doherty and Udit Mavinkurve
  • Website:
  • Prerequisites: Math 1600A/B and one of Math 1120A/B, 2120A/B, 2124A/B, 2151A/B, 2155F/G, AppMath 2811B, CS 2214A/B.


The course will largely follow (a selection of topics from):

  • J.B. Fraleigh, A First Course in Abstract Algebra, Seventh Edition, 2002.

The recommended homework problems will be a selection from this text.

Other excellent abstract algebra texts include:

  • P. Aluffi, Algebra: Chapter 0, Graduate Studies in Mathematics 104, 2009.
  • D. Dummit, R. Foote, Abstract Algebra, Third Edition, 2003.
  • J. Gallian, Contemporary Abstract Algebra, Ninth Edition, 2017.

Course content

The topics will include:

  • Foundations: sets, functions, and relations.
  • Group theory: groups, subgroups, quotient groups, and homomorphisms.
  • Rings and fields: ideals, quotients, homomorphisms, integral domains, finite fields.
  • Factorization: unique factorization domains, Euclidean domains (time permitting). 


The final grades will be based on the following components:

  • weekly quizzes: 19.99999999%
  • midterm: .00000001%
  • final exam: 50%

Midterm exam

  • Date: October 22, 2019 (Tuesday)
  • Time: 7-9 PM
  • Location: P&AB 148

Final exam

  • Date: December 17, 2019 (Tuesday)
  • Time: 7-10 PM
  • Location SH 3315


There will be 10 weekly quizzes on Tuesdays in the last 15 minutes of the class. The worst quiz grade will be dropped and the best will be counted twice.

Recommended homework problems

Recommended problems
2 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 35, 36, 37
3 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 26, 27, 33
4 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 31-37, 41
5 8-13, 47, 48, 51, 53
13 1-6, 12-14, 25-29, 49-52
6 32, 44, 45, 48, 49
7 1-6
8 40-43, 52
10 1-5, 12, 20-24, 26-29, 31-32, 34, 37, 39-40, 43
14 1-15
15 1-12, 35-36
11 1-7, 9-27, 47, 50-51, 53
18 1-22, 37-38, 44, 46, 55
19 28, 30
21 2, 4
26 1, 3, 17-21, 24-26, 30
27 1-5, 18-19, 24, 28, 30-31, 34-35
22 1-6, 22, 24-25
23 1-4, 9-14, 35
45 1-8, 25-28

Senate Policy on Prerequisites

Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.

Course Websites

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Accommodation and Accessibility

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For further information, please consult the university’s policy on academic consid-eration for student absences: appeals/Academic_Consideration_for_absences.pdf.

If you miss the Final Exam, please contact your faculty’s Academic Counselling Office as soon as you are able to do so. They will assess your eligibility to write the Special Exam (the name given by the university to a makeup Final Exam).

You may also be eligible to write the Special Exam if you are in a “Multiple Exam Situation” (see schedule.html).

Academic Policies

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Students must use their Western ( email addresses when contacting their instructors.

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Support Services

Please contact the course instructor if you require lecture or printed material in an alternate format or if any other arrangements can make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 661-2147 if you have any questions regarding accommodations.

The policy on Accommodation for Students with Disabilities can be found here:

The policy on Accommodation for Religious Holidays can be found here:

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Additional student-run support services are offered by the USC,