Preface. Birkhoff & Mac Lane’s Algebra is a brilliant book. I should probably spend some time with it again, actually. Also, I apologize for such a. In Garrett Birkhoff and Saunders Mac Lane published A Survey of Modern Algebra. The book became a classic undergraduate text. Below we examine a. Garrett BirkhoffHarvard University Saunders Mac Lane The University of Chicago A SURVEY OF ern fourth.

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You do not define a group as a groupoid with one object, at least not in an introductory course. There are contacts with many branches of mathematics and so it can serve as an introduction to nearly the whole of modern mathematics.

We have websites like Math Stack Exchange where we can ask users for opinions, but it would be nice to have many more bibliographies of mathematical subjects than there currently are. I think such a book would have found a massive audience and I’d encourage Maaclane working on such a book to continue as we’d then have many different opinions for students and professionals on standard works. The selection of exercises is sufficient to allow an instructor to adapt the text to students of quite varied degrees of maturity, of undergraduate or first year graduate level.

The authors are to be congratulated on having improved an already excellent text. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Snd can teachers better catch today’s spirit of mathematics. He received the nation’s highest award for scientific achievement, the National Medal of Science, in A wonderful and detailed response. Moreover, it was written in a clear and enthusiastic style that conveyed to the reader an appreciation of the aesthetic character of the subject as well as its rigour and power.

Mac Algebrq has an enduring reputation as a great expositor. He ibrkhoff to Harvard inthe year after I had given a course in modern algebra on the undergraduate level for the first time.

Therefore, instead of omitting these results, we have attempted to incorporate them systematically within the framework of the ideas of modern algebra.

A famous mathematician once remarked to me that maclanne he knew who had worked through A Survey algdbra Modern Algebra adn come to love the subject. Perhaps a lecture reviewing elementary set theoretical notions, then cover some linear algebra introducing basic category theory after seeing direct sumsthen cover some ring theory, then plenty of group theory, then modules and advanced linear algebra, followed by field and Galois theory, representation theory using algebras and specializing quickly to groupscommutative algebra including some applications to algebraic geometry and the likeand finally homological algebra, with some advanced or extra topics at the end, if possible e.

Vinberg seems similar but more intense, so I imagine it would bifkhoff well, too.

Some combination of the approaches of the above books ought to make an excellent undergraduate course. Heavner Sep 6 ’17 at Although my course was well attended, I was much more research-oriented than teaching-oriented. I had taught out of most of the extant books. Occasionally a textbook makes possible a real leap forward in ways of learning.

Algebra was almost unheard of at the undergraduate level not too long ago, whereas now an undergraduate program would be remiss not to require students take at least an introductory course covering the basic theories of groups, rings, and fields.

Artin 2e, not 1e is also good and emphasizes linear algebra and geometric intuition, which is good considering how often students will need things from linear algebra and how often they will find themselves ignorant of those things. The Mathemagician 2 6.

Although many of the basic results stem back to Kronecker, Dedekind and Steinitz, the present-day subject is largely the creation of the great woman mathematician, Emmy Noether. I think these principles in lecture and text, along with hard work by the students, lots of student-student communication including some forced working togethersome student-professor communication including some forced communication, e.

He spent most of his career as a professor of mathematics at Harvard University. In writing the present text we have endeavoured to set forth this formal or “abstract” approach, but we have been guided by a much broader interpretation of the significance of modern algebra. Logic suggests the standard groups, rings, fields, modules, vector spaces, etc.

I’ve already commented extensively on most of the standard algebra texts at my blog-you can find the relevant post here: For a first year graduate course-which at Harvard,usually included a number of undergraduates-he’d use the book straight up and cover most of it. I am hard pressed to put a single book above the others, however.

His paper, “On the Structure of Abstract Algebras” founded a new branch of mathematics, universal algebra. There is also contact with the field of mathematical logic in the chapter on the algebra of classes and with the ideas of topology in the proof of the fundamental theorem of algebra.

In this way, I do not expect today’s students are substantially better than past students, either. Also, I apologize for such a long response.

It provided a synthesis formerly obtainable only after much more advanced work. The “Modem Algebra” of our title refers to the conceptual and axiomatic approach to this subject initiated by David Hilbert a century ago. It is a good, once standard algebea, but there are texts that better suit the needs of modern students.

### Math Forum Discussions

He had been doing the same thing. Certainly, one can survive it, but it is probably suboptimal for most.

In preparing the revised edition we have added several important topics maclabe of stable type, dual spaces, the projective group, the Jordan and rational canonical forms for matrices, etc. During the s, Birkhoff, along with his Harvard colleagues Marshall Stone and Saunders Mac Lane, substantially advanced American teaching and mxclane in abstract algebra.

But I’d sure keep one on reserve in the library for my students to browse. They embody the elegance, precision, and generality which are the hallmark of mathematics!

The short version is I think the book can be used for either undergraduates or graduates with some success, but I think it is less than ideal in both cases. Hungerford is a common alternative I did not discuss, but I have never found it very exciting. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service.

This is a text on modern algebra that is particularly suited for a first year graduate course or for an advanced undergraduate course.

I am not sure. If you want an older book written by a master expositor and mathematician, then I think Herstein works algehra than Mac Lane.

## Preliminary Thoughts

I do not think using algebras is a problem, but three whole chapters is probably a bit much, so some would have to be cut. When I taught “modern algebra” in “Math 6” the first time, inI began with sets and ended with groups. The rejuvenation of algebra by the systematic use of the postulational method and the ideas and point of view of abstract group theory has been one of the crowning achievements of twentieth century mathematics.

These theorems are then applied to some familiar and to some less familiar examples, thus broadening the student’s viewpoint without getting hirkhoff lost in abstractions. Birkhoff and Mac Lane also want to teach their students to prove things, of course.