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Pure and Applied Undergraduate Texts
2003; 227 pp; hardcover
List Price: US$66
Member Price: US$52.80
Order Code: AMSTEXT/9
Galois Theory for Beginners: A Historical Perspective - Jorg Bewersdorff
This undergraduate text takes a novel approach to the standard introductory material on groups, rings, and fields. At the heart of the text is a semi-historical journey through the early decades of the subject as it emerged in the revolutionary work of Euler, Lagrange, Gauss, and Galois. Avoiding excessive abstraction whenever possible, the text focuses on the central problem of studying the solutions of polynomial equations. Highlights include a proof of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, essentially due to Euler, and a proof of the constructability of the regular 17-gon, in the manner of Gauss. Another novel feature is the introduction of groups through a meditation on the meaning of congruence in the work of Euclid. Everywhere in the text, the goal is to make clear the links connecting abstract algebra to Euclidean geometry, high school algebra, and trigonometry, in the hope that students pursuing a career as secondary mathematics educators will carry away a deeper and richer understanding of the high school mathematics curriculum. Another goal is to encourage students, insofar as possible in a textbook format, to build the course for themselves, with exercises integrally embedded in the text of each chapter.
Undergraduate students interested in abstract algebra.
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