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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Mathematics : Mathematics

Undergraduate Course: Commutative Algebra (MATH10017)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Mathematics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will be an introduction to commutative algebra, mainly focusing on methods to work with polynomial rings. You will learn practical methods for solving systems of polynomial equations, as well as important theoretical results, for example, Hilbert's basis theorem. An important branch of algebra in its own right, commutative algebra is an essential tool to explore several other areas of mathematics, such as algebraic geometry, number theory, Lie theory, and non-commutative algebra.
Course description In year 1 you learnt to solve systems of linear equations in many variables. But what about equations of higher degree?
You probably have encountered a few methods so far to find the zeroes of univariate polynomials.
But what about solutions to sets of polynomial equations in several variables? Such sets equations come up naturally - in kinematics, robotics, physics, statistics, biology, optimization, etc. In the first part of the course we will learn Buchberger's algorithm which finds the zeroes of systems of polynomial equations.
We will then move on to explore properties of the polynomial ring - for example, Hilbert's basis theorem that says that every ideal in the polynomial ring is finitely generated - as well as more general concepts in commutative algebra. There is also a close relationship to geometry in this class: solution sets to polynomial equations are the building blocks of algebraic varieties, the objects studied in algebraic geometry. This class will provide some concrete examples of the concepts you have learnt in Honours Algebra and give you tools to do computations with them.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Honours Algebra (MATH10069)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 69 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 20%, Examination 80%
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Commutative Algebra (MATH10017) 2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Gain familiarity with the polynomial ring and be able to perform basic operations with both elements and ideals.
  2. Use computational tools, especially Gröbner bases and the Buchberger algorithm, to solve problems in polynomial rings; for example the ideal membership problem, or finding solutions to polynomial equations, but also to be able to apply these tools without prompting.
  3. State accurately and be able to explain the proofs of the main results in the class without access to notes or other resources.
  4. Be able to produce examples illustrating the mathematical concepts learnt in the class.
Reading List
Cox, Little, O'Shea: Ideals, Varieties and Algorithms. An introduction to computational Algebraic Geometry and Commutative Algebra

Reid: Undergraduate Commutative algebra
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr David Quinn
Course secretaryMrs Alison Fairgrieve
Tel: (0131 6)50 5045
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