e MAT 312 and AMS 351: Applied Algebra

MAT 312 and AMS 351: Applied Algebra

Welcome to MAT 312 and AMS 351.

As the title of this course indicates we will cover some ideas in the theory of abstract algebra and apply some of these concepts to practical problems. The algebraic concepts covered will include the theory of goups, polynomials, rings and fields. Some of these ideas will be applied to the study of coding theory.

Change of office hours

I will not be holding my usual office hours on WED. 10/14 and 10/21. Instead I will hold office hours from 8:30am-9:30am on MON. 10/12 and 10/19.

Course instructor

Lowell Jones lejones@math.sunysb.edu. Office: Math Tower 2-111. Telephone: 632-8248.
Office hours: Tu,W,Th 8:30am-9:30am.

Course Recitation Teacher

Claudio Menses, claudio@math.sunysb.edu. Office:Math Tower 2-115.
Office hours: Wednesday 6-8pm in MLC, and Thursday 4-5pm in 2-115.


Lec 01 Tu,Th 11:20am-12:40pm Mathematics P131 Jones
Rec 01 Tu 12:50pm-1:45pm Old Chem 144 Menseses
Rec 02 W 11:45am-12:40pm Old Chem 144 Menseses


Discrete Mathematics and Applied Modern Algebra, by Henry B. Laufer (available at Stony Books across 25A from the Stony Brook train station)


You should read the corresponding section of the text before attending each lecture.

Problem sets will be assigned weekly; check this webpage for the assigments. Each homework set is due during your recitation class of the following week (unless otherwises stipulated). Note that the solutions to some of the problems appear in the back of the text book. You should nonetheless try and solve these problems without recourse to the answer key, and should write the problem up carefully in your own words even if you have consulted the book for the final answer: always show your work.

It is OK to discuss homework problems with other students. However, each student must write up the homework individually in his/her own words, rather than merely copying someone else's.


There will be one midterm in class: on Thursday October 29, 2009. The final exam is scheduled for Tuesday December 15, 2009 between 2:15pm-4:45pm. The place of the final exam will be announced on this web site towards the end of the semester.

Make certain that you will be available at these times, as there will be no scheduled make-ups for these tests.

Please note that makeup exams are only given if a student misses an exam for unforseeable circumstances beyond the student's control. In particular, schedule conflicts are not an acceptable reason for missing an exam.

Midterm and Practice Midterm

There is a midterm exam during our usual class time and in our usual class room on Thursday October 29. The exam will cover the material of sections 1.1-1.6 and of 2.1-2.6 in our text book. A practice midterm can be found at practicemidterm

Results of the Midterm

The average class grade on the midterm was 84%. Your midterm grade is recorded as a percentage grade. However, here is a rough translation of your percentage grade into a letter grade: A or A->89; B+,B or B->79; C+or C>69. The solutions to the midterm can be found at solutions to the midterm problems . The midterms will be handed back to students during their recitation this week (the week of 11/2-11/6).

Final exam and Practice Final Exam

The final exam will cover material from sections 2.5,2.6,3.1-3.3,9.1,9.2,9.5. It will take place in room 145 of Old Engineering at 2:15pm-4:45pm on December 15, 2009.

A practice final can be found at practice final exam


20% Homework
30% Midterm
50% Final Exam


A very useful resource is the Math Learning Center (MLC) located in room S240-A of the mathematics building basement. The Math Learning Center is open M,Tu,Wed from 10:00am to 9:00pm, on Thur from 10:00am to 6:00pm, and on Fri from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

Another useful resource are your teacher and grader, whose office hours are listed above.


If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact on your ability to carry out assigned course work, please contact Disability Support Services (DSS)at 632-6748 or at http://studentaffairs.stonybrook.edu/dss/. DSS will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and DSS. For procedures and information go to the following website: http://www.sunysb.edu/ehs/fire/disabilities.shtml


The following table will be filled in as the semester progresses. Always refer to it for each week's reading assignment and homework assignment. During this semester I shall try to cover (at a minimum) the following sections of our text book: 1.1-1.6; 2.1-2.6; 3.1-3.3; 9.1,9.2,9.5,9.6.

Week Topic Notes Homework
8/31-9/4 1.1,1.2   1.1: 1,3,4,6,7,8 1.2:1,2,3,5,9,11
9/7-9/11 1.3,1.4   since some of you do not yet have a text book you may hand in your homework from last week during our Thursday 9/10/09 lecture 1.3:2,4,5,8,10,11 1.4:1,3,4(a)(d),7,8,9,10(b), 16,18
9/14-9/18 1.5,1.6   1.5:4,5,6,7,12 1.6:2,3,6
9/21-9/25 2.1,2.2   2.1:1(a)(b)(e),2,3,6,10 2.2:2,3,5,8,11
9/28-10/2 2.3   no class on Tuesday, you may hand in the homework assigned last week during the Thursday lecture 2.3:2,3,4,6,7,9,11,13,15
10/5-10/9 2.4,2.5   2.4:1(a)(c),2(b)(d),3,4,9,10,13 2.5:2,3(a)(b)(c)(h),5,8,11
10/12-10/16 2.6,3.1   Wed. office hour is replaced by Monday office hour (8:30am-9:30am) 2.6:2,3,4,5,7,12,15
10/19-10/23 3.1,3.2   Wed. office hour is replaced by Monday office hour (8:30am-9:30am) 3.1:2,3,6,8,9 3.2: 1,3,6,7,10,12,13
10/26-10/30 3.2,3.3   midterm inclass on Thursday 10/29/09, you may hand in homework for sections 3.1,3.2 next week during recitation 3.3:1,4-7,10-13
11/2-11/6 3.3   hand in the homework for sections 3.1,3.2 during recitation this week; hand in the homework for section 3.3 during recitation next week. 3.3:same as last week
11/9-11/13 3.3(switching functions),9.1   you may hand in homework for section 3.3 during lecture on thursday of this week (if you need extra time to complete it) 9.1:2,3,5,8,10,11
11/16-11/20 9.1,9.2   you may hand in the homework for section 9.1 during the Thursday lecture of this week (note that problem (7) in section 9.1 is no longer assigned) 9.2:1,2(a),4(b),6,11,12
11/23-11/27 9.5   no class on Thursday 11/26/09
11/30-12/4 9.5,9.6   you may hand in homework for section 9.2 during recitation this week 9.5:1,2(b),3(b),4(a),5(for 4(a)), 7,11,12,14
12/7-12/11 review (see the practicefinal above)   Thursday 12/10 is our last class meeting; due to the many missing details in section 9.6, we will not cover this section, instead we will spend the two classes of this week reviewing for the final exam.