Insert proof in the margin

Frequently asked questions

Who? : Nivedita Bhaskhar
Come again? : Call me N
What? : MATH 110AH, Algebra-Honours
When? : Lectures on MWF 11:00-11:50 A.M and discussion sessions on R 11:00-11:50 A.M
Where? : MS 5117
Any prerequisites? : You need to have taken MATH 115A
Which book do we follow? : Lectures in Abstract algebra, Richard Elman- available at
Do you check email at odd hours? : Yes. My id is nbhaskh AT math DOT ucla DOT edu (But please send short emails and not essays)
I don't. Can I drop by your office instead? : Yes. But I may not be around all the time
You'll be there sometime, right? : Weekly workshop sessions on M 4-4:50 PM in MS 5117.
Usual office hours on M 5:00-5:50 PM, W 12:00-12:50 PM
Where is your office? : MS 6310
Do we have a TA? : Laurent Vera will head the discussion sessions on Thursdays. Office hours TBA
So why does 13 divide (2018^12)-1 ? : That is in your second homework set. And you might actually be able to fit the proof in the margin...

What are we learning?

You can check out the syllabus. But mostly, we'll be studying groups, more groups and some more groups and get a glimpse of exactly how 'abstract' Algebra can get.

A, B, C, D, E or F

You have to get through about 7 or 8 homework assignments (weekly!), 2 midterms and a final examination. Grading will be based on the higher of the following two schemes:

Scheme I Scheme II
Homework 20 % 15 %
Midterm-I & II 20 % each 25 % (best of two)
Final 40 % 60 %

More about the homework

A homework set will be given to you each Friday at the beginning of class which will be due exactly one week later (i.e. by the next Friday, 11:00 AM). It will consist of practice problems (which will not count towards the grade) and mandatory problems (which will count towards the grade). The mandatory problems will be graded and returned to you. Late submissions will not be accepted and you will get a score of zero for such work. However the lowest homework score will be dropped while calculating your grade.

Among the mandatory problems, there will be a problem marked (!), usually proof based. If you submit your homework on time, but the submission for this question is not up to the mark (but you must have put in decent work in your first attempt), you get exactly one more week at redoing this problem and turning it in with your next homework set. You can get up to 75% of the original credit for this question, i.e. if the question is worth 10 points, you can get up to 7.5 points on your second chance. The idea is to help you acquire practice to write out coherent proofs. Again, no late submissions will be accepted.

There will be proof-based questions, and you are expected to write out coherent and clear answers, which make logical sense and are complete. (i.e do not say "It is clear that.." unless it really is!). You can of course quote and use the results proved in class, unless mentioned otherwise in the problem. You can work together in groups of three or less, but write the solutions in your own words, i.e. do NOT turn in word-for-word identical solutions. Remember to mention the people in your homework group, if working together.

Write legibly. If you use a pencil, make sure the writing is clear and not very light. Staple your homework if it is more than one sheet. Write your name, homework number and clearly indicate problem numbers to which you are providing solutions. Submit on time! Any submissions which fail these requirements will be returned ungraded. There, you're warned.

More about the exams

The first midterm and the final will be in-class and closed book and notes exams. The second midterm will be a take home (TBA) closer to the end of the quarter. For the take home, you are allowed to look up definitions or theorems in books or your notes. You can use the web to look up definitions, but DO NOT google for the solution! Plagiarism will be taken very seriously. Also remember to cite your sources.

Grading disputes

If you feel that a mistake was made in grading your homework or exams or that your scores have been incorrectly inputted into MyUCLA, you can bring it to my attention within a week of when the paper is returned after grading. Any complaints received later will not be considered.

Exam dates

Midterm I October 24 11:00-11:50 A.M
Midterm II TBA Take home
Final Dec 10 8:00-11:00 A.M

Tell me now, so I know : The Plan

We will broadly follow the recommended schedule. However there might be changes depending on the pace of our class.

The Unchangeables

Compulsory Conduct-Codes

Notes, Tests, Solutions, and the oxford comma

Parting words of wisdom, if any ?

Keep calm and algebra on