MAT 535: Algebra II (Spring 2024)


About the course

Abstract algebra is the study of algebraic structures such as groups, rings, fields, or vector spaces. In the course, we will study several more advanced topics: Galois theory, basic multilinear and homological algebra, and an introduction to the representation theory of finite groups. You can find a more detailed list of topics on this page.


The textbook for the course is “Abstract Algebra” (3rd edition) by David S. Dummit and Richard M. Foote. Please see the official syllabus for additional information about the course, including university-wide policies.


The final exam for the course will be on May 7. We are also going to have two midterms (in class) and weekly homework assignments. Your grade will be determined based on the final exam (35%), the two midterms (20% each), and your homework (25%). The general policy is no make-up exams and no late homework, but there will be an extra homework assignment at the end of the semester to make up for any missed assignments.

Time and location

We meet on Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00–11:20 am, in room Physics P130 (of the Physics Building).

Office hours

My office hours are on Tuesday afternoon from 1:00pm–4:00pm.


Please read the corresponding sections before or after class.

Week Chapters Topics
1 13.1, 13.2, 13.4 Algebraic extensions, splitting fields
2 13.5, 14.1 Separable and normal extensions, automorphisms, Galois extensions
3 13.6, 14.2, 14.3 Finite Galois extensions, symmetric functions, roots of unity, finite fields
4 14.2 Galois correspondence
5 14.4, 14.7 Galois correspondence, composite extensions, solvability by radicals
6 13.4, 14.8 Galois groups over $\mathbb{Q}$, algebraic closures
7 11.4, 12.2 Characteristic and minimal polynomial, Cayley-Hamilton theorem
8 12.3 Jordan canonical form, diagonalization, normal operators
9 11.3 Bilinear forms, tensor product, wedge product
10 10.3, 10.4 Direct sum and tensor product of modules
11 10.4 Complexes, cohomology, exactness, free resolutions
12 17.1 Tor, long exact sequence, flat modules
13 17.1 Ext, projective modules, representations, Schur's lemma, complete reducibility
14 17.3 Characters, character table, representations of $S_n$

Homework assignments

There will be a written homework assignment almost every week. Please write up your solutions nicely, staple all the pages together, and hand them in during the following week, at the beginning of Thursday's class. Some of the problems will be graded ; the grader is Xuande Liu. We are also going to discuss some of the problems in class on Thursday; you are expected to participate in the discussion and, from time to time, volunteer to present a solution in front of class.

Week Assignment
1 Problem Set 1 (due Thursday, February 1)
2 Problem Set 2 (due Thursday, February 8)
3 Problem Set 3 (due Thursday, February 15)
4 Problem Set 4 (due Thursday, February 22)
5 Problem Set 5 (due Thursday, February 29)
6 Problem Set 6 (due Thursday, March 7)
8 Problem Set 7 (due Thursday, March 28)
9 Problem Set 8 (due Thursday, April 4)
11 Problem Set 9 (due Thursday, April 18)
12 Problem Set 10 (due Thursday, April 25)
13 Problem Set 11 (due Thursday, May 2)
14 Additional Problem Set (due Tuesday, May 7)