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Abstract Algebra book suggestions

  1. Dec 15, 2004 #1
    I'm having trouble finding any good books and sites from which i can learn abstract algebra. Does anyone have any good suggestions so that i can learn the course? please include prices if possible
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2004 #2

    I've enjoyed using Abstract Algebra, A First Course by Dan Saracino (ISBN: 0-88133-665-3)


    right where you're at

  4. Dec 15, 2004 #3
    I would always suggest Herstein or Dummit and Foote. Just check on Amazon for prices or something...
  5. Dec 15, 2004 #4


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    Herstein was written for honors sophomors at columbia, and in my opinion tends to have good problem sets, but less deep insight into theory. for some reason herstein reads very easily, but many people i know (including me) found that the material slides right out the other ear immediately afterwards, leaving little residue. my favorite undergraduate book is algebra, by mike artin, also written for sophomores, but not honors ones, at MIT. Dummit and Foote is one of the nicest, most carefully written graduate books.

    i have also written a book which i give away free, not exactly for beginners, but being an old guy, i need some time to figure out how to put it on my website. it goes from groups and galois theory to tensor products and representable functors, in 400 pages, assuming some familiarity with determinants and matrices.
  6. Dec 15, 2004 #5
    Dummit and Foote is an abstract algebra bible. It's a very serious read though, so I'd foot the bill only if you're willing to take the subject seriously.

    Mathwonk, I'm more than interested in what you've created...I assume it's not posted anywhere yet? :confused:
  7. Dec 15, 2004 #6
    D&F is wonderful, but it is a very tough read. I try to use both Herstein and D&F together, the formet for the problem sets, and the latter for theory...
  8. Dec 15, 2004 #7
    Contemporary Abstract Algebra by Gallian is an excellent book on modern algebra. It may not be extremely rigorous since it is designed for an introductory course in algebra. Its actually quite easy to read and the concepts are very easy to understand. I would highly recommend this book for algebra if you are just beginning.
  9. Dec 15, 2004 #8


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    i could try to send files of my book to an email address if you want to give me one, either publicly or privately. you will not have the ancient font my book is in but if i send it as a postscript file it will be accompanied by its fotn and you can print it if not read it on screen. i think.

    but i should really get it on my webpage in some form. thanks for the motivation.

    actually i also have notes on transformation geometry, calculus both differential and integral, intro to complex analysis including elliptic functions and elliptic curves, plane algebraic curves, basic algebraic varieties icluding dimension theory and intersection theory, elementary differential topology, sheaf cohomology, and introduction to riemann roch theorem both classical and modern.

    but the algebra book is the most polished, although not by modern standards. most people present material nowadays in a beautiful font, but i try to present material in a thoroughly explained context, hopefully with motivations and details. my fonts are old, but my explanations are pretty thorough. of course my presentations are just modifications of things i have learned elsewhere, but i have tried to add my own insights and filled in details that are omitted elsewhere, or fix mistakes that were made.

    i am happy, even excited at the chance to present my notes, but i feel bound to remind all readers that the ultimate, if not temporary, value of a set of notes is proportional to the depth of the author's understanding, and thus I recommend again the algebra book of mike artin, because the material literally rolls off his fingertips, the algebraic geometry books of mumford and shafarevich, and the differential topology book of john milnor. in my notes all i have done is take what i have learned from these authorities and explain some things more thoroughly from the standpoint of a novice, fill some details, and omit insights that have eluded me.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2004
  10. Dec 15, 2004 #9
    If you have them in .ps, then you can easily put them into pdf or html form, then just put it on some webspace if you got one.

    I myself would love to receive a copy. If you are interested in sending me a copy, please private message me.

    Much appreciated.

  11. Dec 16, 2004 #10
    i would also be interested in the abstract algebra and integral calculus notes. please private message me also so we can arrange a way for me to recieve the files.
  12. Dec 16, 2004 #11


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    i think i made an error in saying the files would come complete with fonts. that is the way my webpage files are loaded but my personal files are not in ps. so you probably could not read what i would send as it is now. i do have access to profesional help though and just need to have some time to learn to take advantage of it.

    i am very grateful for the encouragement to get them online. i see now lots of young people are doing this and it is clearly going to revolutionize note sharing and text writing. people can get notes from a course at harvard now even if they do not go to harvard.
  13. Dec 16, 2004 #12
    Which is the way it should be, don't you agree?

    As another option to the original post...my very beginning introduction to modern algebra was by Fraleigh. The text was well written, but only got you to basic ring and field theory. What he calls advanced group theory we covered in my first semester too, so if that's any help. There was a primer on homological algebra too, if you're interested. Again, I still stand by Dummit and Foote if you really want to be taught.

    I recall paying abuot 120 CAD for Fraleigh and I think maybe higher for D&F. Both are hardcovers, and I'm really rusty on the prices!
  14. Dec 16, 2004 #13
    aaah! where'd my post dissapear to!?!? :( stupid firefox~!!@$


    Discrete and Combinatorial Mathematics by grimaldi is good, it has a nice introduction to ring theory in chapter 14, however the rest of the book is on combinatorics :eek:

    Gallien's book is good, if not dense enough. It's full of quotes and biographies of mathematicians which you just happen to arrive at when you're about to loose interest.
  15. Dec 18, 2004 #14


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    I do think knowledge should be readily available, but at the moment I must say I still recommend buying some of the best books that are written by the very top experts. There is a difference in quality between some traditionally published books and some free books; but of course many costly published books are worth very little, less than some free ones. I suggest however that books such as Spivak's diff geom, and mike artin's algebra book, and van der waerden's algebra book, are well worth paying for. and even available in the used market. here are some listings from abebooks.com

    Algebra (ISBN:0130047635)
    Artin, Michael
    Price: US$ 29.00 [Convert Currency]
    Shipping: [Rates and Speeds]
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    Book Details

    Book Description: Soft Cover. SOFTCOVER INTERNATIONAL EDITION - Brand New Book (Shrink Wrapped) Black&White Contents/Pics Latest 1st Ed!!. Bookseller Inventory #006267

    Bookseller: Reliable Book Service (Antioch, TN, U.S.A.)

    Modern Algebra, Vol. 1
    van der Waerden, B.L.
    Price: US$ 14.00 [Convert Currency]
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    Book Details

    Book Description: Frederick Ungar, 1953. Very good hardcover. No jacket. Extremities lightly bumped. Bookseller Inventory #008066

    Bookseller: Logos Books (Davis, CA, U.S.A.)
  16. Dec 18, 2004 #15
    i liked the one by gilbert & gilbert, and baby herstein
  17. Dec 19, 2004 #16
    You know I've never even seen a copy of Artin's book, though I've come across a great number who said they enjoyed it. What level is it aimed at, and would it be a good precursor to D&F? I think I'll always stick by D&F just because it's so very well contained, but it's a very serious read and shouldn't be taken lightly. It's the Big Gulp of algebra books :biggrin:
  18. Jul 10, 2005 #17


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    yes artin is an excellent precursor to DF
  19. Jul 10, 2005 #18


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  20. Jul 10, 2005 #19


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