“Undergraduate Algebra”: Or How I Relearned Algebra in a Week August 11, 2009Posted by Martin Camacho in General.
Tags: algebra, books
A few weeks ago I vowed to relearn all of my forgotten algebra – advanced group theory, rings, modules, and fields especially. The main problem,at least for me, was finding a viable resource to tutor me. Wikipedia proved futile as there was no use in clicking links in an unsystematic manner, and Wikibooks’ algebra section was simultaneously obtrusive and incomplete.
Akhil Mathew had recommended Lang’s ‘Algebra’, part of Springer’s series of Graduate Texts in Mathematics, but I found it much to technical for a refresher in basic undergraduate algebra. One of my advisers and I had worked from Dummit and Foote but I found it much more referential and dense than an introductory text. I then realized that I had been examining graduate-level books which were much more concerned with advanced algebra – commutative and non-commutative rings, Noetherian rings, etc….
Browsing through the Princeton bookstore’s mathematics section I stumbled across Lang’s “Undergraduate Algebra”, and subsequently decided that I’d buy it. After a week I feel much more comfortable with groups, rings, and fields. Lang’s expository style is much simpler than his style in “Algebra”, and I recommend ‘Undergraduate Algebra’ with full praise!