This book is an undergraduate textbook on abstract algebra, beginning with the theories of rings and groups. As this is the first really abstract material students need, the pace here is gentle, and the basic concepts of subring, homomorphism, ideal, etc are developed in detail. Later, as students gain confidence with abstractions, they are led to further developments in group and ring theory (simple groups and extensions, Noetherian rings, and outline of universal algebra, lattices andcategories) and to applications such as Galois theory and coding theory. There is also a chapter outlining the construction of the number systems from scratch and proving in three different ways that trascendental numbers exist.
This book is intended as a textbook for an undergraduate course on algebra. In most universities a detailed study ·of abstract algebraic systems commences in the second year. By this time the student has gained some experience in mathematical reasoning so that a too elementary book would rob him of the joy and the stimulus of using his ability. I tried to make allowance for this when I chose t4e level of presentation. On the other hand, I hope that I also avoided discouraging the reader by demands which are beyond his strength. So, the first chapters will certainly not require more mathematical maturity than can reasonably be expected after the first year at the university. Apart from one exception the formal prerequisites do not exceed the syllabus of an average high school. As to the exception, I assume that the reader is familiar with the rudiments of linear algebra, i. e. addition and multiplication of matrices and the main properties of determinants. In view of the readers for whom the book is designed I felt entitled to this assumption. In the first chapters, matrices will almost exclusively occur in examples and exercises providing non-trivial instances in the theory of groups and rings. In Chapters 9 and 10 only, vector spaces and their properties will form a relevant part of the text. A reader who is not familiar with these concepts will have no difficulties in acquiring these prerequisites by any elementary textbook, e. g. .