MATH 236

Course description

This course is an introduction to abstract algebra. The main topics covered are the following:

  • Relations and Binary operations
  • Groups, subgroups, properties and examples.
  • Group homomorphisms, isomorphisms.
  • Group actions.
  • Rings, fields and integer domains.
  • Rings of polynomials.
  • Prime and Maximal ideals.


The class meets for 75 minute lectures twice a week. Attendance is not mandatory, but strongly encouraged. Lecture notes will be posted on Blackboard after each meeting.

Section 236-1
Instructor: Sergio Chaves
Lectures: Tuesday-Thursday 2:00-3:15 PM.
Location: Hylan 102.
Email: schavesr at
Office hours: Wednesday 5-6 PM (On zoom), Thursdays 11:30-12:30 PM (in-person). Other times by appointment.

Office: Hylan 1001. (zoom link in blackboard)

Section 236-2
Instructor: Arda Huseyin Demirhan
Lectures: Monday-Wednesday 2:00-3:15 PM.
Location: Hylan 102.
Email: a.demirhan
Office hours: Tuesdays 3-5 PM (for Math 236 only), Mondays 12:50-1:50 PM (for Math 236-282), Wednesdays 12:50-1:50 PM (for Math 236-282). My designated office hours are in-person. Other times are by appointment and they could be on Zoom.
Office: Hylan 919. (zoom link in blackboard)

Teaching Assistant



A First Course in Abstract Algebra, 8th edition, by Fraleigh.

Any other version of the texbook should work.


These are strict prerequisites,

  • MATH 173
  • MATH 235.
  • Permission of instructor.


  • Weekly homework will be posted and collected through Gradescope.
  • You are encouraged to work with classmates on the homework problems, but you must mention who you worked with.
  • Write up and submit your own solutions. LaTeX preferred or clear handwritting.
  • The lowest homework score will be dropped.
  • Late homework will only be accepted with prior arrangements and/or due to exceptional circumstances.
  • Read the academic honesty below.

Getting Help

In addition to regularly attending class, you are strongly encouraged to come to any intructor’s office hours. No appointment is necessary to come to office hours — just drop in! You are welcome collaborate with your classmates (although all work you turn in must be your own!). Use the Blackboard forum to connect with the instructor or TA for help anytime outside office hours! If you can’t make it to office hours, send an email to any instructor asking questions or to schedule a meeeting outside regular office hours.

Finally, some strategies students at UR found successful include the following:

  • Always go to class and take good notes.
  • Review your notes soon after class — within the next day or so!
  • Read (or at least skim) each section in the text before it is covered in class.
  • Do all of the homework thoroughly, write out all of the details, keep it organized, and use it to help you study.
  • If you don’t understand something, ask right away.
  • Go over tests and look at solutions until you know what you did wrong and understand the solution.
  • Figure things out rather than memorize them.
  • Arrange your schedule so that you have enough time every week to study and do homework.
  • Start studying for exams early.
  • Get plenty of rest the night before an exam.
  • Don’t stress out and don’t give up!

Academic Honesty

All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester’s Academic Honesty Policy. More information is available at

In particular, exams must be submitted with a signed Honor Pledge.

This course is also subject to the Mathematics Department’s statement on online resources: Any usage whatsoever of online solution sets or paid online resources (stackexchange, or similar) is considered an academic honesty violation and will be reported to the Board on Academic Honesty. In particular, any assignment found to contain content which originated from such sources is subject to a minimum penalty of zero on the assignment and a full letter grade reduction at the end of the semester (e.g. a B would be reduced to a C). This applies even if the unauthorized content was obtained through indirect means (through a friend for instance) and/or the student is seemingly unaware that the content originated from such sources. If you have any questions about whether resources are acceptable, please check with your instructor.

Disability Support

The University of Rochester respects and welcomes students of all backgrounds and abilities. In the event you encounter any barrier(s) to full participation in this course due to the impact of a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Resources. The access coordinators in the Office of Disability Resources can meet with you to discuss the barriers you are experiencing and explain the eligibility process for establishing academic accommodations. You can reach the Office of Disability Resources at:; (585) 276-5075; Taylor Hall; Questions or comments? Please contact us: