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Contemporary Abstract Algebra 7th Edition

28 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0547165097
ISBN-10: 0547165099
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph Gallian earned his PhD from Notre Dame. In addition to receiving numerous awards for his teaching and exposition, he served, first, as the Second Vice President, and, then, as the President of the MAA. He has served on 40 national committees, chairing ten of them. He has published over 100 articles and authored six books. Numerous articles about his work have appeared in the national news outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and Newsweek, among many others.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Brooks Cole; 7 edition (January 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547165099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547165097
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven Skees on March 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gallian's Contemporary Abstract Algebra is a decent text for the topic, and is one of the few texts out there which manages to be a the standard for many universities, but also manages to remain accessible, readable, and enjoyable for students at all levels.

The book contains 33 chapters, of which the first (roughly) 22 make up the core of a two semester undergraduate algebra course covering groups, rings, and fields. Most of the chapters are rather short (10-20 pages it seems on average), but this thorough breakdown of chapters makes each and every one rather simple to read and understand, without introducing too much at one time (refer to Herstein's Topics in Algebra if you want to see a book which doesn't have enough chapters, teaching what is essentially an entire semester worth of group theory in one overbloated chapter, which is easy to get lost in). Gallian is great at providing examples, and gives definitions and theorems with very clear and concise language. For the most part, he tends to try to use standard terminology and provides plenty of examples and diagrams to aid students with the learning.

The final nine chapters of the book, making up roughly 1/3 of the textbook, contains many special topics. Some of these are very standard chapters for abstract algebra texts which are sometimes skipped (even if they really shouldn't be) such as the Sylow Theorems and Finite Simple Groups, but you'll also find chapters on coding theory, Galois theory, Frieze groups, and more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Ortiz on September 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am a math major in my junior year, and this is the first textbook I have actually enjoyed reading. It is full of useful examples and it is clearly written and structured so that it is very easy to follow.

I'd recommend this book to any student who is looking for a great resource to help them learn/understand abstract algebra.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Charles Saunders on October 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a rigorous step in abstract algebra this is probably not the book you want. If you are taking a fairly elementary one semester undergrad course and will never see this subject again, it is great. The proofs are weak (compare to Hungerford - the intro NOT the grad text - or Dummit and Foote - which, admittedly is more advanced, but not that much). This subject (like topology and real analysis) tends to depend on where you are and what you want.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Danial Lee Sellers on December 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't let the math haters fool you. If anyone gave this book less than four stars it's because they were not ready for a proof based course or are otherwise incapable of reading or doing math proofs. I attempted this course three semesters ago and it was my first proofing course. I could follow in class but I could not do the proofs and I dropped the course. I took the course again three semesters later after a course on how to read and write proofs and after about five other proof based courses and I loved it! What a difference a little math maturity makes! My only disappointment is that we didn't finish the material on rings and didn't get to fields. I have one more semester before I graduate and this is going down as my favorite text and course. If you have some proof experience under your belt, you will do fine in this course with this text. If you've never had a proof course I wouldn't recommend this book. Gallian does expect the reader to fill in some of the details on their own.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jeeyun on April 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After high school algebra and geometry, most of the math we learn doesn't apply much to the every day world. So, when a college math book takes the time to show examples of real world applications, I appreciate it. It helps to ground the material. This is not the rigorous, concise, law-theorem-corollary-lemma-and-repeat kind of book one gets used to, but it was fun to read. I'd recommend reading this along with a traditional style algebra textbook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kippy on May 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a good book. It starts with a clear example of a group and develops a wonderul theory of groups and rings. There are exercises that are easy enough to where you get a good understanding of the material and others hard enough to present a nice challenge. The book presents the material well. It also gives us a nice history of major figures in abstract algebra.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By AnotherUser on May 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Normally, mathematics textbooks are used as sleeping aids (Munkres' Topology, anyone?), but this one teaches you the concepts you need and doesn't do a terribly dry job of it. I'm assuming you're reading the review to learn the subject in independent study, because otherwise, who'd read a textbook review?

First of all, this book is thankfully small. Actually, quite a bit smaller than most mathematics textbooks I have been carrying around these years. But you didn't buy it for the size, so on to the contents and layout.

There are chapters and there are sections, like elements (latter) in sets (former); each section outlining some key concepts or theorems. The problems for each section do correlate closely to the course concepts. The author begins with a review of the foundations of mathematics and some property of sets and then begins with an introduction to groups before moving to a more detailed look.

With the curriculum in algebraic structures/abstract algebra fairly standardized, this book teaches you most, if not all, of what you would expect from a course in the upper undergraduate level. One thing you will not easily learn from the book, however, is that algebraic proofs rely more on a bag of clever, annoying tricks than some fundamental comprehension of the subject matter. And thus, if you ever find yourself stuck in a problem, ask your professor/mentor if you can borrow from her bag of tricks, or else you'd be kicking yourself in annoyance from unable to prove something so simple and elusive.

Overall, the book construction is fairly study, the material inside is comprehensive and fairly digestible, particularly with the subject matter broken down and explained as Gallian does. And, there you have it. Buy it, learn it, and then sell it/treasure it/burn it; you won't be looking at it again unless you hit mathematics graduate school.
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