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Help Develop Tongue in Cheek Abstract Algebra Proof

  1. Apr 23, 2012 #1
    Help Develop "Tongue in Cheek" Abstract Algebra Proof

    Hello all,

    First and foremost I would like to thank everyone on the forum. Your post here have been invaluable in aiding me in completing many of my engineering courses.

    Now I am attempting to develop a "tongue in cheek" proof using the concepts of abstract algebra proving why a student should pass a course (Abstract Algebra). And I could use your help.

    A little background; I am a senior engineering student and for my last semester I am required to complete two course in upper level mathematics. I am currently successfully completing Linear Algebra (thank you again forum!) and much less successfully completing Abstract Algebra. If I don't pass the course then I will not graduate next month and I may not be able to return for a year or more if ever at all.

    Now there are many factors that have caused me to not be very successful in this course. My lack of knowledge of other fields of mathematics, lack of experience with mathematical proofs, ability to understand and retain the ideas presented in Abstract Algebra. I have however put more effort into passing this course than any other course I've ever had to complete. I've found tutoring, I've used the resources of this forum, I have even resorted to online lectures to help further my understanding of the subject, however it has not been enough to succeed primarily at exam time.

    My idea is; if I can show that I can use the concepts of abstract algebra to construct a proof then maybe my professor will see that the metrics for measuring a students success may not be good metric for all students. What better proof then to prove that a student should pass a course.

    So I ask for your help. Please help me develop a proof of why I should pass a course in Abstract Algebra using the concepts of the course. I could use help in laying out the structure of the proof and also in relating it to the concepts in Abstract Algebra. Any help or guidance would absolutely be appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2012 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Re: Help Develop "Tongue in Cheek" Abstract Algebra Proof

    Have I got this right? You want to prove that you can do this by asking others to tell you how to do it?
  4. Apr 23, 2012 #3
    Re: Help Develop "Tongue in Cheek" Abstract Algebra Proof

    But if you can't come up with a proof and have to ask others for help, doesn't this exactly prove that the metric is a good one??
    This sounds awful lot like academic dishonesty to me. Or are you planning to tell your professor exactly how much help you obtained??

    Furthermore, how certain are you that your professor will actually raise your points?? Did you ask her??

    I think the safest option right now is to go to your professor and ask for an extra-credit assignment. And try to establish exactly how much help you can receive.
  5. Apr 23, 2012 #4


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    Gold Member

    Re: Help Develop "Tongue in Cheek" Abstract Algebra Proof

    How did you get put into a situation where if you can't pass this class, you'll be in such a horrible situation? How can you possibly not come back?
  6. Apr 24, 2012 #5
    Re: Help Develop "Tongue in Cheek" Abstract Algebra Proof

    I'm sorry, you have misunderstood my question. I am not asking anyone to tell me how to write a proof. I'm asking for direction on how such a proof could be structured. I'm asking for help with generating ideas. Is that any different than getting help from a tutor on a homework assignment? Or asking for help on a specific problem prior to an exam?

    I don't think so. I have peers who do well on the exams and they can not construct this proof (they were the first people to hear this idea). There are also students who do poorly on the exams and can not construct this proof (Me).

    Please explain why asking for help on structuring a proof is academic dishonesty. I have already had a discussion with the professor about some of the unique resources that I have used to aid me in understanding the topics and I will gladly give credit to the people that help me to structure such a proof. Again, I am not asking anyone to write a proof for me. I am asking for help coming up with a structure for the proof.

    I am not certain that my professor will raise my points. This is more than just an exercise in gaining points. This is an exercise in construction of proofs (something I am apparently terrible at and need to practice)
  7. Apr 24, 2012 #6
    Re: Help Develop "Tongue in Cheek" Abstract Algebra Proof

    I have been an independent student since I was 16 years old, that means supporting myself. Over my senior year of college I went through some very difficult financial troubles resulting from my school work load and the economic troubles we have experienced. Due to that I was not able to complete my course work my senior year or the following semester. The following semester I had to withdraw from my courses in order to find side work to support myself. This was after I've sold nearly every valuable that I have owned in order to pay bills. That semester I was completing my courses successfully since I had a different math tech elective than abstract algebra.

    So my intended graduation date change twice. This was a violation of my schools academic integrity policies and I had to appeal to return to the school for this semester. If I do not pass my courses this semester then I no longer have any a way of affording to be in school. If I don't pass my course work, then I'm not sure that I will be granted another Appeal for changing my graduation date once again.
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