Module Identifier MA32310  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr V C Mavron  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr C R Fletcher  
Pre-Requisite MA20410 , MA21410  
Course delivery Lecture   19 x 1hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   3 x 1hour example classes  
Assessment Exam   2 Hours (written examination)   100%  
  Resit assessment   2 Hours (written examination)   100%  

General description
Rings are abstract algebraic structures which exhibit some of the common algebraic properties of the integers and of plynomials. The general theory of such structures is developed. Fields, which are particular types of ring, have an especially rich algebraic structure. Important basic classes of rings and fields are contructed and examined. Field theory provides powerful techniques for solving a wide range of mathematical problems which include classical problems of Greek geometry, such as angle trisection and circle squaring, and the later question of the solvability of quintic equations.

To investigate the algebraic properties of rings, and in particular to examine common concepts of the integers and of polynomials in this general setting. To highlight the special algebraic structure of fields and to construct examples of fields. To apply field theory to the classical problems of geometry.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Rings, commutative rings with identity, integral domains, fields.
2. Ideal (prime, maximal, principal), quotient ring, ring homomorphism and the isomorphism theorem.
3. Euclidean domains, principal ideal domains.
4. Divisibility and the construction of the greatest common divisor of two elements in a Euclidean domain.
5. Quotient fields.
6. Factors and roots of polynomials.
7. Irreducible polynomials over Z, Q, R and C, and the factorisation of polynomials into irreducibles.
8. Eisenstein's criterion.
9. Characteristic. Simple extensions. Finite fields. Degree Theorem. Ruler and Compass constructions and solutions to classical geometric problems (e.g. squaring the circle).

Reading Lists
** Supplementary Text
R B J Allenby. Rings, Fields and Groups. Edward Arnold
C W Norman. Undergraduate Algebra. Oxford
D A R Wallace. Groups, Rings and Fields. Springer