About this book
This book is written as an introduction to higher algebra for students with a background of a year of calculus. The book developed out of a set of notes for a sophomore-junior level course at the State University of New York at Albany entitled Classical Algebra. In the 1950s and before, it was customary for the first course in algebra to be a course in the theory of equations, consisting of a study of polynomials over the complex, real, and rational numbers, and, to a lesser extent, linear algebra from the point of view of systems of equations. Abstract algebra, that is, the study of groups, rings, and fields, usually followed such a course. In recent years the theory of equations course has disappeared. Without it, students entering abstract algebra courses tend to lack the experience in the algebraic theory of the basic classical examples of the integers and polynomials necessary for understanding, and more importantly, for ap preciating the formalism. To meet this problem, several texts have recently appeared introducing algebra through number theory.
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