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A First Course in Abstract Algebra, 7th Edition 7th Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201763904
ISBN-10: 0201763907
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 590 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 7 edition (November 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201763907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201763904
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am a mathematics professor at a small liberal arts university in Canada, and I use Fraleigh's book to teach a 300-level full-year introductory course in abstract algebra. I find it excellent. It is clear to me that Fraleigh has been teaching a course very similar to mine, to students very similar to mine, for probably three decades. He has figured out almost exactly the right way to introduce a difficult subject. He makes my job easy.

The book is broken into many small chapters, each of which can be easily translated into one or two hours of high-quality lecture. Thus, I can structure my lectures to closely follow the book, which has two advantages: (1) less preparation time for me (important when you have a heavy teaching load but still want to do a good job) and (2) The students have effectively a preprinted copy of the classroom lecture notes (so they can spend less time writing notes and more time paying attention and learning).

Fraleigh avoids the countless pitfalls which bedevil the naive algebra instructor (and many other textbook writers). He keeps things simple without making them stupid. Math students at my university have a wide range of background and skills. Some are highly talented and motivated, and I want to adequately prepare these students for graduate school. Others students are `future highschool teachers' (may God help our children) who apparently chose to study math because they thought it would resemble the polynomial arithmetic which they enjoyed in highschool, and who are often quite upset to discover otherwise. For these people, math is `supposed' to be computation, and any kind of logic or abstraction is anathema.

There are some abstract algebra texts (such as Bloch) which are designed to appeal to the `computational' crowd.
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Format: Hardcover
[...]

Although, I did not use Fraleigh's textbook directly in the class I attended, I did use it as a frequent source of

explanation and/or practice with it's problem sets. Lets be realistic here, I've seen too many reviews of differnt Algebra

texts from D&F, Artin, Lang, Galian etc., saying something along the lines of "Textbook is not rigorious enough," or

"textbook is weak on theory," "textbook is not approrpiate for undergraduate course," and so on and so forth.

Although I do not deny that certain texts may be written poorely, the vast majority of complaints seem to be generated by certain percieved "defencies" in texts that do not attempt to be laconic (i.e D&F). Obviouslly, there exist suffecient

differences amongst the students who will take Abst. Algebra such that differnt types of textbooks are created to meet the

varying needs of these students.

It is in this context that Fraleigh's textbook should be reviewed. After looking at all the major texts out there for basic undergraduate Algebra (Artin, D&F, Rotman, Herstein, Gallian), I'd say Fraleigh belong somewhere between Galian and Herstein. It is true that it does not cover as much material as D&F, but clearly it was not written with the same purpose in mind as D&F.

If we compare Fraliegh with Herstein we admit that they both cover most of the same subjects in more or less similiar depth.

Herstein beats out Fraliegh 10-1 in all things Linear Algebra. However, I'd say the first 250 pages of "Topics in Algebra" is

roughly equivelent to the 493 pages of Fraleigh. So the question that is asked is why is Fraliegh almost double the size of Herstein?
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Format: Hardcover
This book was my introduction to algebra, and I can say that with me it hit its target - I not only learned and understood abstract algebra, but I grew to love it and be thrilled by it. If you are outside of mathematics and looking for the way in, I don't think you can do much better than Fraleigh. You'll outgrow it - almost as soon as you put it down. But that's just testament to how far it can take you in just a dozen or so chapters.

I would recommend, if you can afford it, also buying a copy of a zippier book like Hungerford or Dummit & Foote (ask around) and using it together with Fraleigh. Fraleigh won't let you down in terms of giving you the space you sometimes need to grasp things (for example, he gives Tons of examples, and there are plenty of easy exercises that allow you to soak in patterns in the structures for yourself) and an advanced book will give you increased perspective and power.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My undergrad Abstract Algebra I & II classes used this book (or rather the 6th edition which Amazon is no longer carrying). I think it's a very good book with a sufficient number of examples and detailed explanations. The reviewer who stated that this is not a book for mathematicians is correct; this is a book for undergrad students taking their first course in theoretical mathematics. The title of the book, "A FIRST Cource in Abstract Algebra", assumes this which is why proofs and explanations are often incorporated together. I think that most students would appreciate the lengthly explanations and lack of overly technical proofs. Having a good professor to go along with this book, however, is what sold it to me.
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