Math 437-- Applications of Algebra

Fall 2017,  TuTh 8:30--9:45 AM, Daniels Hall 371

Instructor: Seth Sullivant, office: 3114 SAS Hall, email:

Syllabus: Syllabus

Office Hours: Tu 10:00- 11:00, W 2:00-3:00, Or by appointment

Text: R. Klima, N. Sigmon, E. Stitzinger, Applications of Abstract Algebra with Maple and Matlab, Third Edition, Chapman & Hall/ CRC

Recommended Reading:

Prerequisites: Math 403 or 407, and Math 405

Course Description: This course will present several applications of linear and abstract algebra to real-world problems. Topics include: error correcting codes and block designs; cryptography; Markov chains and ranking; solving polynomial equations with Gr\"obner bases; additional topics as time permits.

Learning Objectives (This document will be updated throughout the course and can be used as a study guide.)

Schedule: Is available here.

Homework: Homework will be roughly assigned weekly and is due in class on Thursday, unless otherwise indicated.

A file explaining how to prepare your homework can be found here. Homework assignments can be found here.

Policy on Late Homework: Homework is due in class on Thursdays, unless otherwise indicated. Late homework will be accepted up to Friday at 5 PM of the week it was due, either to my mailbox, delivered to me in person, or by email and will received 80% of the points. Any homework turned in after Friday at 5 PM will receive a zero. Note that each student may only turn in 2 late homeworks per semester. If you must miss a class on the day a homework is due and you want full credit, it is your responsibility to get the homework to me by the beginning of class on Thursday. This could be delivered to my mailbox, delivered to me in person, or turned in by another student. I do not accept scans or photographs of homework, so if you want to turn in an assignemtn by email, it must have been prepared in LateX.

Quizzes: There will be two 20-minute quizzes. Each quiz will be worth 5% of your grade. The quizzes will cover basic definitions and theorem statements only. The quizzes will be on September 19 and November 7.

Final Project: A final project consisting of a short (5 pages) exposition of a topic (selected by the student subject to instructor approval) will be due on Dec 10 by 5 PM. A list of some possible topics and project details are available here.

Grades: Grades will be based on Homework (70%), Quizzes (10%), and Final Project (20%). Grades are based on the following scale:   A : (> 85%), B: (70-85 %) C: (60-70%) D-F: (<60%).


LateX Resources: