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Contemporary Abstract Algebra 8th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Why is this book so great?
1. It covers abstract algebra from basics to Galois theory including solvability by radicals, so you should not need any other book to cover the basics before Masters level
2. The book does not assume any prerequisite and is easy to follow even if you did not touch abstract Algebra for a while
3. The book is full of examples, basic groups had like over 20 of them making sure you really get them
4. All theorems have a proof, and the proofs are well explained
5. The material is split in over 30 chapters in nearly 600 pages, making each chapter the right size to make progress and not too long to discourage others
6. Each chapter has around 50/60 exercises with the solution for half of them, making it a practical training book
7. The book size is like 3 ipads stacked together, making it practical to take anywhere at the contrary of other references like the calculus books from salas and hille
Anyways, I am a big fan of this book. The price is really crazy though, so I recommend you get a used copy of the 5th edition instead. The content is almost identical, and in absolute mathematical value identical. Nothing is missing, just some different exercises and some different examples. And for around $30 there is nothing better you can get.
Gallian does do an admirable job of explaining concepts. There are decent examples. I think the book is a bit heavy on the applications especially near the beginning. Gallian does tend to be a bit wordy at times, but not bad. As I said, he does explain things pretty well. Based only on the actual text, I'd have given the book 4 stars.
So why only 3 stars? Because I gave the exercises only 2 stars. They very nearly enrage me. Okay, it's not so much that the exercises themselves are horrible. My gripe is that they tend to be either routine problems (that's not my gripe) or overly difficult proofs/sophisticated conceptual problems. There's not a lot in between. That's my first criticism. Next, Gallian seems to have made very little attempt to grade the problems in increasing difficulty. You look at number 3 and you're thinking about it for a week, until finally you are tired and just move on to the next section... when all along, the "meat and potatoes" problems are buried in the sorts of problems that tend to take many hours of pondering. In my opinion, that's not a good way to present the problems. Next, there needs to be MANY, many more routine, concept-building problems. The problems that are there are okay, they just need to be tripled in number with the sorts of routine concept-builders that aid in understanding and cementing definitions and methodology.Read more ›
Despite that the text is very well written, and that the problem sets are quite reasonable, I might dock off two stars- because of the price. Personally, I think that it's outrageous a used copy has to sell for nearly $200. I have a copy of the 7th Ed as well, and beside the problem sets being slightly different, the material is quite similar between the 7th and 8th editions. The 8th Ed, in effect, is useless. If I were you, I'd try to save my hard-earned pennies and purchase some other edition of this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gallian does an awesome job at giving an approachable and readable introduction to algebra. I highly recommend his text.Published 1 month ago by Brady
Good book for intro to abstract algebra and algebra2. Only problem is that some proofs are vague and hard to understand, need some times to figure them out. Read morePublished 2 months ago by CL
book was used and in perfect shape. Son needed for college class.Published 5 months ago by Ohio Dad
Two main problems with this text:
1) The examples frequently don't refer back to the principles they are taking advantage of which makes them hard to follow and... Read more
The book's organization is terrible, and felt more the style of a casual exposition on the subject rather than a textbook. Read morePublished 14 months ago by QQ