Serge Lang as undergraduate algebra text

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Good day,
Did anyone here use Serge Lang's "Algebra" as an undergraduate text?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I've used it as a reference for undergraduate algebra-related courses, but I would not recommend it as a main textbook. It's really something that you read once you already know the material and want to learn to think about algebra in categorical terms.
 
  • #3
mathwonk
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I did not do this and I do not recommend anyone else do it either. The last time I tried to teach from this book to a graduate level algebra class, it blew them away. Briefly there are almost no examples, hence the beginner does not learn much. I recommend Mike Artin's book, Algebra, and even that is a bit terse for a beginner, but well written and full of interesting examples. Dummitt and Foote has great exercises and clear statements, but some of the proofs seem unenlightening to me.
 
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  • #4
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I did not do this and I do not recommend anyone else do it either. The last time I tried to teach from this book to a graduate level algebra class, it blew them away. Briefly there are almost no examples, hence the beginner does not learn much. I recommend Mike Artin's book, Algebra, and even that is a bit terse for a beginner, but well written and full of interesting examples. Dummitt and Foote has great exercises and clear statements, but some of the proofs seem unenlightening to me.
Ok well unfortunately, it's not my decision. I was just wondering. I am in an undergraduate abstract algebra class which is using this.

Edit: yes, I've heard good things about Artin.
 
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  • #5
mathwonk
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I am mind boggled. of course I hasten to say a good professor can lecture in a way that makes any class work, and any rteasonable book can be used cleverly as backup. But I recommend strongly that you obtain a different book for support. There are some really good things in Lang, but if this is your first encounter with abstract algebra, it is definitely not adequate. Just to be clear, you are talking about the gradiuate algebra book right?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/038795385X/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20

Or does he have another book?
 
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  • #6
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I am mind boggled. of course I hasten to say a good professor can lecture in a way that makes any class work, amd the book can be used cleverly as backup. But I recommend strongly that you obtain a different book for support. There are some really good things in Lang, but if this is your first encounter with abstract algebra, it is definitely not adequate. Just to be clear, you are talking about the gradiuate algebra book right? Or does he ahjve another book?
Yes, it's the graduate level text. I believe he does have an undergraduate text though ( maybe a typo on the college website). I am planning on using a secondary algebra text to reference. I'll look into Artin and Dummit and Foots texts. Thanks!
 
  • #7
mathwonk
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