Math 322: Group Theory

Fall Term 2017
Lior Silberman

General Information

This is the introductory course in algebra, intended for honours students. Students who wish to buy a single abstract algebra book should buy the book [1], which will serve you for both 322 and 323 and also covers the material of 422 to an extent. The gentler and less-terse alternative is the book [2]. If you want a group-theory specific textbook, the best book in my opinion is Rotman's (reference [3] below). You can download a copy by following the link while on the UBC network. That said, any book titled "Group Theory" (topic-specific) or "algebra" or "abstract algebra" (wide-coverage) is fine.


  1. Dummit and Foote, Abstract Algebra
  2. Gallian, Contemporary Abstract Algebra
  3. Rotman, An Introduction to the Theory of Groups, also available from SpringerLink.

During the course, we will study three classical theorems by Sylow. They are, of course, discussed in detail in the textbooks. Sylow's original paper from 1872 (written in French) is available online from the Göttingen University Library.

Midterm Exam


  1. Problem Set 1, due 14/9/2017. Solutions.
  2. Problem Set 2, due 21/9/2017 (typo in 1(a) fixed). Solutions.
  3. Problem Set 3, due 28/9/2017. Solutions.
  4. Problem Set 4, due 5/10/2017. Solutions.
  5. Problem Set 5, due 12/10/2017. Solutions.
  6. Problem Set 6, due 26/10/2017 (citation to Prop. 176 fixed).
  7. Solutions.
  8. Problem Set 7, due 2/11/2017. Solutions.
  9. Problem Set 8, due 9/11/2017. Solutions.
  10. Problem Set 9, deferred to 21/11/2017 (typo in 5(b) fixed). Solutions.
  11. Problem Set 10, due 28/11/2017 (P2 clarified, extra credit problem added).. Solutions.
  12. Problem Set 11, not for submission. Solutions.

Lecture-by-Lecture information

Readings are generally from Dummit and Foote (sections marked "N" are in the lecture notes). Those reading Rotman can find the material there

Week Date Material Reading Notes
1 Th 7/9 Introduction
The Integers
Putnam Sessions
T 12/9 Modular arithmetic §§0.3,0.1 Relations
Th 14/9 (continued)   PS1 due
2 T 19/9 Permutations §1.3  
Th 21/9 (continued)   PS2 due
3 T 26/9 Groups and homomorphisms §§1.1,1.2,1.5,2.1 Concepts to review
Th 28/9 Subgroups, Cyclic groups   PS3 due
4 T 3/10 Cosets and Lagrange's Theorem §3.2  
Th 5/10 Normal Subgroups
Quotient groups
§3.3 PS4 due
5 T 10/10 Isomorphism Theorems
Simplicity of A_n
Feedback form
6 Th 12/10 Group actions §1.7, §§4.1-4.2 PS5 due
T 17/10 Midterm Exam    
7 Th 19/10 Conjugation §4.3 Zagier's Trick
T 24/10 Orbits, stabilizers   Examples
8 Th 26/10 p-groups N4.1 Groups of order p^3
PS6 due
T 31/10 pq-groups N4.2  
9 Th 2/11 (continued) N4.2 PS7 due
T 7/11 Sylow's Theorems §4.5  
10 Th 9/11 Applications   PS8 due
T 14/11 Groups of medium order §6.2  
Th 16/11 Finite Abelian Groups §6.1, §5.2  
11 T 21/11 Review of PS9 §6.1 PS9 due
Th 23/11 Nilpotent groups §6.1  
12 T 28/11 Solvable groups §6.1 PS10 due
Th 30/11 Review    
  T 5/12 Final exam: 8:30-11:30 at BUCH A203    

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