“Algebra” by MacLane and Birkhoff was the first abstract algebra book I bought and I loved it! It wasn’t the first abstract algebra book I read. This book presents modern algebra from first principles and is accessible to undergraduates or graduates. It combines standard materials and necessary. Documents Similar To Saunders Mac Lane, Garret Birkhoff Algebra Mathematics Form and Function. Uploaded by. jacinto [Charles C. Pinter] a Book.

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Nowhere can teachers better catch today’s spirit of mathematics. Inwhen the first edition of this book appeared, the curriculum in algebra was the result of a hodge-podge accumulation. This is not to say Mac Lane and Birkhoff do this!

I feel there is a need in mathematics for detailed discussion of available resources. This has influenced us in our emphasis on the real and complex fields, on groups of transformations as contrasted with a,gebra groups, on symmetric matrices and reduction to diagonal form, on the classification of quadratic forms under the orthogonal and Euclidean groups, and finally, in the inclusion of Boolean algebra, lattice theory, and transfinite numbers, all of which are important in mathematical logic and in the modern theory of real functions.

This book also does not match a clear unorthodox vision of how the subject should be taught, unlike, say, Aluffi or Adkins. Of course, the book came partly from England through Garrett, who had been influenced by Birkhovf Hall when he worked with him at Cambridge England.

On the other hand, there should be parts where the students are discovering things or work from ideas, trying to work out the formality. Post as a guest Name. There should also be specific portions of book and lecture mac,ane are intentionally plain, definition-theorem-proof type things, but where all the alggebra is introduced later down the line, as to not snub the students.

The most striking characteristic of modern algebra is the deduction of the theoretical properties of such formal systems as groups, rings, fields, and vector spaces. Post Your Answer Discard By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of serviceprivacy policy and cookie policyand that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies. Or maybe start with a more “easier” text like Gallian’s Contemporary Abstract Algebra or Fraleigh’s algebra book.

Finally, the last three chapters provide an introduction to general commutative algebra and arithmetic: You mention Herstein and Vinberg, which are good; Artin or Gallian also work, for example. Adding in some applications may be good, too; I do not remember many being in Mac Lane.


Mathematics Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled. Our Survey presented an exciting mix of classical, axiomatic, and conceptual ideas about algebra at a time when this combination was new. Chapter IIIand some field and vector space theory c. This independence is intended to make the book useful not only for a full-year course, assuming only high-school algebra, but also for various shorter courses.

Math Forum Discussions

Much of this significance, it seems to us, lies in the imaginative appeal of the subject. Chapter 11 includes a completely revised introduction to Boolean bjrkhoff and lattice theory. This reviewer can testify to its appeal to students.

You should have never given up on the project. Unfortunately, I am not sure what the best supplements are. We hope that the present book will prove an adequate reference for those wishing to apply the basic concepts of modern algebra to other branches of mathematics, physics, and statistics. I think you could cover the entire book, minus perhaps Chapter XIV on lattices, which are not typically emphasized and are partly historical, and possibly Chapter VIII, which is a bit odd, in my opinion.

Certainly, one can survive it, but it is probably suboptimal for most. Again, eventually the students should be given this stuff to them.

Terminology and notation which has become outmoded since the Revised Edition was published in have been brought up-to-date; material on Boolean algebra and lattices has been completely rewritten; an introduction to tensor products has been added; numerous problems have been replaced and many new ones added; and throughout the book are hundreds of minor revisions to keep the work in the forefront of modern algebra literature and pedagogy.

If you alter the presentation for your lectures to skew more qlgebra examples and concrete proofs, ideally while still discussing the more abstract stuff a bit, then I think this book can work well.

Preliminary Thoughts

Still other arrangements are possible. This exposition of the elements of modern algebra has been planned with great albebra, and the plan has been carried through very successfully. It is a good, once standard book, but there are texts that better suit birkhpff needs of modern students.

I am joking, if it is not clear. Anyway, let me say a bit about my thinking for how this book would work for either audience.

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Although my course was well attended, I was much more research-oriented than teaching-oriented. One of the best things about this book is the balanced approach to rigour and abstractness in relation to intuitive appreciation and concrete application.

I love Lang, especially for things like Galois theory, but it is too hard, too fast, too big, too encyclopedic, and, dare I say, too modern for most graduate students. Surely, people appreciate the extant ones e. Nevertheless, it is still a book well worth reading.

In preparing the revised edition we have added several important topics equations of stable type, dual spaces, the projective group, the Jordan and rational canonical forms for matrices, etc. Judson is good all around. I think graduate xlgebra should use category theory pretty openly.

Yet, I also think a course should start with basic material. Getting across the rich motivation, ideas, analogies, history, and so forth should be an explicit goal, but it algebea not always be possible.

Survey of Modern Algebra

In this way, I do not expect today’s students are substantially better than past students, either. In both undergraduate courses and graduate courses students’ abilities and background are quite variable; that much has not changed in the past few decades.

Other more minor changes and additions helped to increase its popularity, with annual sales in the range 14, It wasn’t the first abstract algebra book I read, though, but it probably was the first book that I read carefully.

We had the good fortune to write a book on the subject at the right time. Both are excellent in theory and have a good collection of problems. Also,the author writes very well indeed. We hope that our book will continue to serve not only as a text but also as a convenient reference for those wishing to apply the basic concepts of modern algebra to other branches of mathematics, including statistics and computing, and also to physics, chemistry, and engineering.

Birkhoff and Mac Lane’s book first appeared inand van der Waerden’s book first appeared in It began to sell well as soon as the war was over, in at about – annually.

Also after proving a theorem he gives unexpected applications to groups which you might not have imagined possible.