MAT 334 Introduction to Abstract Algebra

Welcome to the home page of Introduction to Abstract Algebra at Utica College. You can find all the documents for this course on this page. Please check this page frequently for homework assignments and announcements.

General Information
Course Information and Policies
When you write up your Daily Homework, I strongly suggest that you use filler paper, such as this. Write one problem per page. There is a very good reason for doing this, which I shall explain later in the Portfolio section.

Each Daily Homework will be submitted twice. You will submit at Canvas before 12:00pm on the day before we meet in class. For example, a Daily Homework assigned on Monday will be discussed on Wednesday, so you should submit your draft by Tuesday 12:00pm at Canvas. I will review your draft and give suggestions and comments within 10 hours (namely before 10:00pm of the same day). You can read the comments and make necessary changes before you come to class on the next day. Your Daily Homework will be finished by hand and paper so the best way to do this is to take a picture of your writings and submit it as attachment on Canvas. Students must upload the draft in PDF format. You can use this website to convert JPG format to PDF format. Or you can install CutePDF (in Windows) to convert any format to PDF format.
The Daily Homework will generally consist of proving theorems or solving exercises from the task-sequence. On the day that a homework assignment is due, the majority of the class period will be devoted to students presenting a subset (maybe all) of the proofs of the theorems that are due that day. Students are allowed to take pictures of board work and upload them to Facebook group so that everyone can see them. This means that you do not have to copy anything down from the board as you will have them available online. At the end of each class period, students should submit their write-ups for all of the proofs that are due that day. Daily Homework will be graded on a check-system. Students are allowed (in fact, encouraged!) to modify (not copy directly from the board as you will have the pictures in Facebook group) their written proofs in light of presentations made in class; however, you are required to use the felt-tip pens provided in class.


However, you should not let the rubrics deter you from presenting if you have an idea about a proof that you would like to present, but you are worried that your proof is incomplete or you are not confident your proof is correct. You can only gain points by coming to the board and you will be rewarded for being courageous and sharing your creative ideas! Yet, you should not come to the board to present unless you have spent time thinking about the problem and have something meaningful to contribute.



There will be two midterm exams and one cumulative final exam. Each exam is worth 15% of your overall grade and may consist of an in-class portion and a take-home portion. The in-class portions of the two mid-term exams are tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, February 17, 2016 and Monday, March 28, 2016 and the in-class portion of the final exam is Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Make-up exams will only be given under extreme circumstances, as judged by me. In general, it will be best to communicate conflicts ahead of time.

Productive Failure

We are all expected to make mistakes during the semester (including me) because we are learning. We should not let the anxiety of making mistakes prevent us from trying something. Learning from one's mistake is a very important skill as part of the general learning skills. Therefore, part of your grade is based on whether you can learn from your mistakes and make them productive. In order to get the full 5% grade for productive failure, you have to share a productive failure of yours during five separate presentations in class. Your sharing need to include the following points: what mistakes did you make, why do you think you made such mistakes, how did you realize that you make such mistakes, what lessons did you learn from this mistake. You can share your productive failure after your presentation, or after someone else's presentation.


Almost every week, you will be asked to write a journal on various topics. Details will be given in Canvas when they are assigned.


We will be using OverLeaf to edit and compile LaTeX files. OverLeaf is a free online program so you don't have to pay anything to use it but you need to have an internet connection. I will run a special session on how to use LaTeX in the first or second week of class. If you have experiences with LaTeX, then you do not have to attend the training sessions.




I have zero tolerance on dishonesty. Any forms of dishonesty such as copying homework or cheating on quizzes and examinations, will result in zero credit for that particular assignment, and will be reported to the Academic Standards Committee. The highest penalty a student can receive is "F for cheating" for the course. There might be additional sanctions by the Academic Standards Committee such as dismissal from the college.




Any student who has need of special accommodations in this class due to a documented disability should speak with me as soon as possible, preferably within the first two weeks of class. You should also contact Kateri Henkel, Director of Learning Services in the Academic Support Services Center (315-792-3032 or in order to determine eligibility for services and to receive an accommodation letter. We will work with you to help you in your efforts to master the course content in an effective and appropriate way.