A History of Abstract Algebra / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $36.14
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 27%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $36.14   
  • New (7) from $36.14   
  • Used (1) from $79.50   


Prior to the nineteenth century, algebra meant the study of the solution of polynomial equations. By the twentieth century algebra came to encompass the study of abstract, axiomatic systems such as groups, rings, and fields. This presentation provides an account of the intellectual lineage behind many of the basic concepts, results, and theories of abstract algebra.

The development of abstract algebra was propelled by the need for new tools to address certain classical problems that appeared unsolvable by classical means. A major theme of the approach in this book is to show how abstract algebra has arisen in attempts to solve some of these classical problems, providing context from which the reader may gain a deeper appreciation of the mathematics involved.

Key features:

* Begins with an overview of classical algebra

* Contains separate chapters on aspects of the development of groups, rings, and fields

* Examines the evolution of linear algebra as it relates to other elements of abstract algebra

* Highlights the lives and works of six notables: Cayley, Dedekind, Galois, Gauss, Hamilton, and especially the pioneering work of Emmy Noether

* Offers suggestions to instructors on ways of integrating the history of abstract algebra into their teaching

* Each chapter concludes with extensive references to the relevant literature

Mathematics instructors, algebraists, and historians of science will find the work a valuable reference. The book may also serve as a supplemental text for courses in abstract algebra or the history of mathematics.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"This concise history conveniently brings together topics in modern algebra that one might otherwise only find in scattered sources. … it reflects a deep attention to the mathematics and to how its history can be used to help understand the subject today. … The author provides an outline of his course in abstract algebra, a course that is intended for teachers of mathematics … ." (Albert C. Lewis, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2008 g)

"This book gives an overview of the origin and development of the basic ideas of modern abstract algebra. … In each chapter, the author makes extensive references to relevant literature. The book can be recommended to mathematicians, teachers of mathematics (especially of algebra), historians of the sciences and students, who can find many useful references and ideas for their research, teaching or studies." (EMS Newsletter, September, 2008)

"This remarkable book presents both the history of algebra as well as selected detailed biographies of algebraists. … the origin of important ideas and concepts is presented very skillfully, even in a way such that the development of ideas can be used as a very good textbook for algebra. … This book combines in relatively few pages non-trivial algebra with detailed historical facts and ideas and should bring the reader a wealth of new insights." (G. Pilz, Internationle Mathematische Nachrichten, Issue 210, 2009)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817646844
  • Publisher: Birkhauser Verlag
  • Publication date: 10/2/2007
  • Edition description: 2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface.-Chapter 1: Classical Algebra.-Early roots.-The Greeks.-Al-Khwarizmi.-Cubic and quartic equations.-The cubic and complex numbers.-Algebraic notation: Viète and Descartes.-The theory of equations and the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.-Symbolical algebra.-References.-Chapter 2: Group Theory.-Sources of group theory.-Development of 'specialized' theories of groups.-Emergence of abstraction in group theory.-Consolidation of the abstract group concept; dawn of abstract group theory. Divergence of developments in group theory.-References.-Chapter 3: Ring Theory.-Noncommutative ring theory.-Commutative ring theory.-The abstract definition of a ring.-Emmy Noether and Emil Artin.-Epilogue.-References.-Chapter 4: Field Theory.-Galois theory.-Algebraic number theory.-Algebraic geometry.-Symbolical algebra.-The abstract definition of a field.-Hensel’s p-adic numbers.-Steinitz.-A glance ahead.-References.-Chapter 5: Linear Algebra.-Linear equations.-Determinants Matrices and linear transformations.-Linear independence, basis, and dimension.-Vector spaces.-References.-Chapter 6: Emmy Noether and the Advent of Abstract Algebra.-Invariant theory.-Commutative algebra.-Noncommutative algebra and representation theory.-Applications of noncommutative to commutative algebra.-Noether’s legacy.-References.-Chapter 7: A course in abstract algebra inspired by history.-Problem I: Why is (-1)(-1) = 1? .-Problem II: What are the integer solutions of x2 + 2 = y3— .-Problem III: Can we trisect a 600 angle using only straightedge and compass?.-Problem IV: Can we solve x5 - 6x + 3 = 0? .-Problem V: 'Papa, can you multiply triples?' .-General remarks on the course.-References.-Chapter 8: Biographies of Selected Mathematicians.-Cayley.-Invariants.-Groups.-Matrices. Geometry.-Conclusion.-References.-Dedekind.-Algebraic numbers.-Real numbers.-Natural numbers.-Other works.Conclusion.-References.-Galois.-Mathematics.-Politics.-The duel.-Testament.-Conclusion.-References.-Gauss.-Number theory.-Differential geometry, probability, statistics.-The diary.-Conclusion.-References.-Hamilton.-Optics.-Dynamics.-Complex numbers.-Foundations of algebra.-Quaternions.-Conclusion.-References.-Noether.-Early years.-University studies.-Göttingen.-Noether as a teacher.-Bryn Mawr.-Conclusion.-References.-Index.-Acknowledgments

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)