Mathematics 412 - Spring 2012
Introduction to Algebraic Systems
Course DescriptionIntroduction to the study of algebraic systems with particular emphasis on concrete examples of the basic algebraic structures, groups, rings, integral domains, and fields. Prerequisite: MTH 311.
For a more detailed course description, go to http://www2.sfasu.edu/math/courses/syllabi/MTH312Syllabus.pdf
Course Time and Meeting Place
Learning ObjectivesUpon successfully completing Math 412, you should have acquired a solid foundation of the following topics and be able to move directly into more advanced courses.
TextbookThe textbook for this course is
Sage is a computer algebra system like Mathematica or Maple. Unlike Mathematica or Maple, Sage is free open-source software. You can access Sage online or download it to your computer. You can even run Sage on your iPad or iPhone. We will be using Sage in MTH 412 to learn more about algebraic structures. You can find out more about Sage at http://www.sagemath.org/.
Grading and ExamsThere will be one in-class exam, two take-home exams, and a final exam. The final exam will have an in-class part and a take-home part. Your course grade will be determined as follows:
Semester numerical scores will be converted into letter grades
according to the following method.
When we calculate your final grade at the end of the course, we will calculate a score on a 0-100 point scale using the scores that you have obtained during the course, and using the grade breakdown given above. Your course grade will then be obtained using this table. In the event of a fractional score, we will always round up to the nearest integer.
Resurrection Policy. If you score better on the final exam than your in class midterm exam, we will replace your midterm grade with your final exam grade. The resurrection policy does not apply to your homework grade.
Exam PolicyExams are scheduled far in advance, and it is impossible to move the time or date. However, in rare cases where it is impossible for an individual to take the exam at the scheduled time, we will work with you to make other arrangements. Exceptions for taking the exam out of sequence are the following:
Homework and Classroom PresentationsThere is no question that the best way to learn math is by doing math, and homework exercises are an essential part of any math course. If you just go to a math class and watch the teacher work problems, but do not actually try doing any problems on your own, then there is very little chance you will really learn the subject. It is also very unlikely that you will do well on exams without working through homework problems ahead of time. When doing homework, do not just write down answers. Think about the problems posed, your strategies, the meaning of your computations, and the answers you get. The main point is not to come up with specific answers to the specific problems you are working on, but to develop an understanding of what you are doing so that you can apply your reasoning to a wide range of similar situations. It is very unlikely that later on in life you will see exactly the same math problems you are working on now, so learn the material in such a way that you are prepared to use your general knowledge of mathematics in the future, not just how to apply particular formulas for very specific problems.
You are encouraged to form study groups with other students in the class so that you can discuss your work with each other; however, all work submitted must be written up individually. Make sure that even if you do work in groups, that you come away with the ability to explain everything you end up writing up in your homework.
During the course of the semester, you will often be asked to present your solutions to assigned homework problems to the rest of the class, so it is very important that you come to class prepared.
You will be asked to write up all of your assignments in a homework notebook. Generally, your homework notebook will be due on Friday and will be returned to you by next Tuesday's class. Since getting behind in a math class is one of the most uncomfortable things you can do to yourself, homework must be turned in on time. Since we will drop your lowest homework grade, we will not accept late homework notebooks. For the complete homework grading policy, go to the assignments page of the Math 412 website.
The ClassroomAny questions you ask in class will likely be ones that other students will want answered as well, so get over any hesitation you might have and ask questions as the material is presented. You will not be penalized for doing this, no matter how trivial or simple you think your questions might seem. Remember, the class is being held for you to learn the material, not just to give you a time to copy notes off of a blackboard, so be sure to get help when you need it and stay involved in your class.
Getting Help with Math 412
Remember to take advantage of office hours. You can also try just dropping by my office. If I am not preoccupied, I will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
Add/Drop PolicyThe Add/Drop Policy can be found at http://www.sfasu.edu/policies/add_drop.asp
Attendance PolicyRegular attendance is expected in Math 412. Attendance and Excused Absences Policy can be found at http://www.sfasu.edu/policies/class_attendance_excused_abs.asp Be sure to look at the exams policy on the exams page of the Math 412 website.
Withheld Grades Semester Grades Policy (A-54)
Ordinarily, at the discretion of the instructor of record and with the approval of the academic chair/director, a grade of WH will be assigned only if the student cannot complete the course work because of unavoidable circumstances. Students must complete the work within one calendar year from the end of the semester in which they receive a WH, or the grade automatically becomes an F. If students register for the same course in future terms the WH will automatically become an F and will be counted as a repeated course for the purpose of computing the grade point average.
The circumstances precipitating the request must have occurred after the last day in which a student could withdraw from a course. Students requesting a WH must be passing the course with a minimum projected grade of C.
Students with DisabilitiesTo obtain disability related accommodations, alternate formats and/or auxiliary aids, students with disabilities must contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS), Human Services Building, and Room 325, 468-3004 / 468-1004 (TDD) as early as possible in the semester. Once verified, ODS will notify the course instructor and outline the accommodation and/or auxiliary aids to be provided. Failure to request services in a timely manner may delay your accommodations. For additional information, go to http://www.sfasu.edu/disabilityservices/
Acceptable Student Behavior
Classroom behavior should not interfere with the instructor's ability to conduct the class or the ability of other students to learn from the instructional program (see the Student Conduct Code, policy D-34.1). Unacceptable or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Students who disrupt the learning environment may be asked to leave class and may be subject to judicial, academic or other penalties. This prohibition applies to all instructional forums, including electronic, classroom, labs, discussion groups, field trips, etc. The instructor shall have full discretion over what behavior is appropriate/inappropriate in the classroom. Students who do not attend class regularly or who perform poorly on class projects/exams may be referred to the Early Alert Program. This program provides students with recommendations for resources or other assistance that is available to help SFA students succeed.
Please be respectful of your fellow students and your instructor. Cell phone use and texting are not allowed in class. Remember to turn your cell phone off or place it in quiet mode before entering the classroom.
Academic Integrity (A-9.1)
Academic integrity is a responsibility of all university faculty and students. Faculty members promote academic integrity in multiple ways including instruction on the components of academic honesty, as well as abiding by university policy on penalties for cheating and plagiarism.
Definition of Academic Dishonesty. Academic dishonesty includes both cheating and plagiarism. Cheating includes but is not limited to (1) using or attempting to use unauthorized materials to aid in achieving a better grade on a component of a class; (2) the falsification or invention of any information, including citations, on an assigned exercise; and/or (3) helping or attempting to help another in an act of cheating or plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own. Examples of plagiarism are (1) submitting an assignment as if it were one's own work when, in fact, it is at least partly the work of another; (2) submitting a work that has been purchased or otherwise obtained from an Internet source or another source; and (3) incorporating the words or ideas of an author into one's paper without giving the author due credit.
Any acts of academic dishonesty will be dealt with according to University policy. Penalties for academic dishonesty may result in a failing grade for the assignment, failing the course, or even dismissal from the university.
Please read the complete Academic Integrity Policy at http://www.sfasu.edu/policies/academic_integrity.asp
Last modified: January 18, 2012