Fundamental Concepts of Algebra

Math 513 CRN 21268

Dr. Phillip E. Parker

Office: 330 JB
Office hours: 10:30--11:00, 12:30--1:00, 2:30--3:00 MWF and by appointment
Phone: 978-3955 (home afternoons and evenings before midnight)
Email: [no HTML email]

Text: Algebra by S. MacLane and G. Birkhoff, 3rd ed.
Coverage: Chapters I -- III, with selections, omissions, and other modifications as necessary.

Grading: There will be no in-class, closed-book exams. One of the main objectives of the course is continuing to learn to write proofs, so your grade will be based on frequent written assignments, usually proofs selected from the recommended exercises. In addition to mathematical content, you will also be graded on grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, style, clarity, etc.; in other words, your grade will depend on all the elements of effective written communication of mathematics.

You may not yet have much experience in writing this way. Thus it may be necessary for you to rewrite a submission (perhaps even more than once) before it is acceptable and can be assigned a grade. You should wind up with A or B on each assignment; but rewrites of unacceptable submissions will have to be done simultaneously with new assignments --- if this becomes too burdensome, you might opt to settle for less on a long-delayed assignment just to get rid of it. Note that the standards for a given grade will rise somewhat throughout the semester, and more markedly on successive rewrites. As the semester progresses, rewriting should become progressively less necessary.

In order that we all can see clearly just what I am talking about when discussing written work, I may occasionally make a transparency of all or parts of a submission for general commentary via an overhead projector. All possible individual identification will be removed from the transparency. By submitting an assignment, you implicitly agree to allow me to use any of it in this way if I wish.

Attendance is assumed and excessive absences will adversely affect your course grade.

A late paper will be accepted ONLY in case of a bona fide emergency beyond your control. If it is at all physically possible, I must be notified before class on the day on which it is due. Subsequently, you must provide suitable documentation.

As required by WSU Procedures and Policy 2.18.3.f.

Success [a grade of "C" or better] in this 3 credit-hour course is based on the expectation that a student will spend a minimum of 9 hours per week (normally 3 hours per credit hour per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction and preparation/studying, for a total of at least 135 hours over the length of the course.

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