A survey of modern algebra. Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Algebra, Abstract. I. MacLane, Saunders, (date) joint author. II. Title. QAB57 “This classic text introduces abstract algebra using familiar and concrete examples that illustrate each concept as it is presented. It covers such topics as the role. A survey of modern algebra / by Garrett Birkhoff and Saunders MacLane Birkhoff, articles: Garrett Birkhoff, Greatest common divisor, Saunders Mac Lane.

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I knew how it should be done and ad did Garrett. While it can be used as a reference, it should rather be read through carefully over a period of years – one must think in terms of years if one wishes to absorb fully the material and annd do the problems. In this book Professors Birkhoff and Mac Lane have made an important contribution to the pedagogy of algebra.

Although pf course was well attended, I was much more research-oriented than teaching-oriented. This has abd us in our emphasis on the real and complex fields, on groups of transformations as contrasted with abstract 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 birkhoff mathematical logic and in the modern theory of real functions.

The most important parts of each theory are included and that is all that can be asked of an introductory textbook. Chapters give an introduction to the theory of linear and polynomial equations in commutative rings. It provided a clear and enthusiastic emphasis on the then new modern and axiomatic view of algebra, as advocated by Emmy Noether, Emil Artin, van der Waerden, and Philip Hall.

The book was prepared at a time when both of us were assistant professors, so without tenure. Our third edition, infinally included tensor products of vector spaces, while the fourth edition clarified the treatment of Boolean algebras and lattices.

Thrall : Review: Garrett Birkhoff and Saunders MacLane, A Survey of Modern Algebra

Garrett Birkhoff published more than papers and supervised more than 50 Ph. Although many of the basic results stem back to Kronecker, Dedekind and Steinitz, the present-day subject is largely the creation of the great woman mathematician, Emmy Noether.


Probably the best way to appreciate the vitality and growth of mathematics today is to study modern algebra. We provide a free online form to document your learning and a certificate for your records. We have also tried not to lose sight of the fact that, for many students, the value of algebra lies in its applications to other fields: Some of these exercises are computational, some explore further examples of the new concepts, and others give additional theoretical developments.

This well-known textbook has served, in the last twelve years, to introduce a great many students to the fundamental concepts of modern algebra in an extraordinarily effective way.

A survey of modern algebra / by Garrett Birkhoff and Saunders MacLane – Details – Trove

Nevertheless, it is still a book well worth reading. Here care is taken to keep in the foreground the fundamental role played by algebra in Euclidean, maclaane, and projective geometry. This third edition of a standard text on modern algebra maclne substantially the same as the revised edition [of ].

It provided a synthesis formerly obtainable only after much more advanced work. Beyond this, occasional sections have been revised and a few problems have been added to some of the exercises.

Birkhoff and Mac Lane also want to teach their students to prove things, of course. The student resources previously accessed via GarlandScience. The “Modem Algebra” of our title refers to maclae conceptual and axiomatic approach to this subject initiated by David Hilbert a century ago.

Although two or three books on the new algebra have already appeared in English, the present volume appears to the reviewer to be the best all-round introduction to the subject, unique in its clarity, balance, generality and inclusiveness.

This seems especially important in an elementary text because it serves to emphasize the fact that the abstract concepts all arise from the analysis of concrete situations. This is a text on modern algebra that is particularly suited for a first year graduate course or for an advanced undergraduate course.

One of the best things about this book is the balanced approach to rigour and abstractness in relation to intuitive appreciation and concrete application. During the s, Birkhoff, along with his Birknoff colleagues Marshall Stone and Saunders Mac Lane, substantially advanced American teaching and research in abstract algebra. Saunders Mac Lane was the author or co-author of more than research papers and six books.


But there is no dearth of good reference works in algebra, and in the reviewer’s opinion the present textbook will prove more useful than another encyclopedic treatise would have been. The longer chapters are his; the shorter ones mine.

A Survey of Modern Algebra

That was characteristic of his freshness, his initiative, and his lack of respect for conformity; but it came as a slight shock to me at the time. 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.

Familiar examples are carefully presented to illustrate each new term or idea which is introduced. All instructor resources are now available on our Instructor Hub.

Interesting historical references appear in a number of places. Chapter 6 introduces noncommutative algebra through its simplest and most fundamental concept: Exercises of the latter type serve the important function of familiarizing the student with the construction of a formal proof.

The present edition represents a refinement of an already highly useful text. Of course, the book came partly from England through Garrett, who had been influenced by Philip Hall when he worked with him at Cambridge England. We aimed to combine the abstract ideas with suitable emphasis on examples and illustrations. Also, the mathematics department at Harvard both emphasized research and expected all faculty members to be steadily active in teaching undergraduates.

I had taught out of most of the extant books. It is a unified and comprehensive introduction to modern algebra. A ‘Survey of Modern Algebra’ made it possible to teach an undergraduate course that reflected the richness, vigour, and unity of the subject as it is growing today. Moreover, it was written in a clear and enthusiastic style that conveyed to the reader an appreciation of the aesthetic character of the subject as well as its rigour and power.

To develop the student’s power to think for ot in terms of the new concepts, we have included a wide variety of exercises on each topic.

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