Preface. Birkhoff & Mac Lane’s Algebra is a brilliant book. I should probably spend some time with it again, actually. Also, I apologize for such a. In Garrett Birkhoff and Saunders Mac Lane published A Survey of Modern Algebra. The book became a classic undergraduate text. Below we examine a. Garrett BirkhoffHarvard University Saunders Mac Lane The University of Chicago A SURVEY OF ern fourth.

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But I’d sure keep one on reserve in the library for my students to browse. I would certainly place it in the hands of an interested undergraduate wondering what algebra was all about, particularly one who had already taken linear algebra. I think these principles in lecture and text, along with hard work by the students, lots of student-student communication including some forced working togethersome student-professor communication including some forced communication, e.

Those desiring a text replete with possibilities for courses tailored to various kinds of students should welcome this new edition. Our Survey presented an exciting mix of classical, axiomatic, and conceptual ideas about algebra at a time when this combination was new.

Certainly, algebraists expect everyone maclae seen some homological algebra and representation theory by the time they get their Ph.

Garrett Birkhoff published more than papers and supervised more than 50 Ph. Although my course birrkhoff well attended, I was much more research-oriented than teaching-oriented. The authors birkboff the belief that “for many students, the value of algebra lies in its applications to other fields: Although many of the basic results stem back to Kronecker, Dedekind and Steinitz, the present-day subject is largely the creation of the great woman mathematician, Emmy Noether. I think you could cover the entire book, minus perhaps Chapter XIV on lattices, which are not typically emphasized and are partly historical, and possibly Chapter VIII, which is a bit odd, in my opinion.

There are today major directions that either did not exist over 60 years ago, or that were not then recognized to be so important.

Familiar examples are carefully presented to illustrate each new term or idea which is introduced. Birkhofv the other hand, there should be parts where the students are discovering things macane work from ideas, trying to work out the formality. Still other arrangements are possible. The size and plan of the book preclude a comprehensive treatment of any one topic; in compensation, the authors are able to say something about nearly every important topic, and they usually succeed in saying the really important things.

A second course may cover a bit more group theory c. Chapter VIImore field theory and linear algebra c.

This will get everyone to do the work they will need to do to read many papers, which are not uniformly well algeba and often take having a mature audience as an excuse not to motivate or show any work.

A semester course on abstract algebra could deal with Chapters, 11, 13, and It has a lot of linear algebra, which is good, and it is not too hard, but it requires some work. Surely, people appreciate the extant ones e. Occasionally a textbook makes possible a real leap forward in ways of learning. Although some additions and rearrangements have been made for this edition, the content remains essentially the same [as the edition]. What kinds of students can this book be used for in ?

We must not risk them never learning it. The most striking characteristic of modern algebra is the deduction of the theoretical properties of such formal systems as groups, birkhofg, fields, and vector spaces.

Finally, the last three chapters provide an introduction to general commutative algebra and arithmetic: The truth, though, is that undergraduates are fairly unlikely to read their textbook. When I taught “modern algebra” in “Math 6” the first time, inI began with sets and ended with groups.

## Preliminary Thoughts

In both undergraduate courses and graduate courses students’ abilities and background are quite variable; that much has not changed in the past few decades. I think algebga would definitely be too difficult for any but the very best undergraduates and I think there are several books that would be better for that purpose: The most impressive thing about Rowen is how up to date it is.

The authors are quick to indicate applications and careful to motivate and illustrate abstractions. Although two or three books on the new algebra have already appeared in English, the present volume appears to the reviewer to be the best all-round introduction to the subject, unique in its clarity, balance, generality and inclusiveness. Being able to handle abstraction does not mean students should not learn many concrete, basic examples, however, nor does it mean they should learn things at the most abstract possible level and be expected to figure out the less abstract consequences on their own.

He returned to Harvard inthe year after I had given a course in modern algebra on the undergraduate level for the first time. Some combination of the approaches of the above algebrq ought to make an excellent undergraduate course.

### Math Forum Discussions

We had the maclans fortune to write a book on the subject at the right time. There are contacts with many branches of mathematics and so it can serve as an introduction to nearly the whole of modern mathematics.

Their emphasis is on the methods and spirit of modern algebra rather than on the subject matter for itself. It allgebra unlikely you will cover the entire book, either, even in a one year course. I am less sure what makes a really excellent graduate course in terms of extant texts.

Hungerford is a common alternative I did not discuss, but I have never found it very exciting. It also introduces the student to modules, but it does not insist on working with modules instead of vector spaces whenever possible, which is probably good, because modules often serve to slightly confuse without adding anything more than a bit of generality.

The revised edition differs only in minor rearrangements and additions. If you alter the presentation for your lectures to skew more toward examples and concrete proofs, ideally while still discussing the more abstract stuff a bit, then I think this book can work well. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered.

Perhaps a lecture reviewing elementary set theoretical notions, then cover some linear algebra introducing basic category theory after seeing direct sumsthen cover some ring theory, then plenty of group theory, then modules and advanced linear algebra, followed by field and Galois theory, representation theory using algebras and specializing quickly to groupscommutative algebra including some applications to algebraic geometry and the likeand finally homological algebra, with some advanced or extra topics at the end, if possible e.

Inwhen the first edition of this book appeared, the curriculum in algebra was the result of a hodge-podge accumulation. What level students today can Algebra be used for?

### A survey of modern algebra / by Garrett Birkhoff and Saunders MacLane – Details – Trove

Only the last five chapters remain unchanged. Those are perhaps worth substantial time, even if they are somewhat too odd for most courses. Then and later we took part in the flow of new ideas from discovery to use and to present to students.

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