The abstract-algebra tag has no wiki summary.

**75**

votes

**18**answers

7k views

### How do you decide whether a question in abstract algebra is worth studying?

Dear MO-community, I am not sure how mature my view on this is and I might say some things that are controversial. I welcome contradicting views. In any case, I find it important to clarify this in my ...

**42**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### when is A isomorphic to A^3?

this is totally elementary, but I have no idea how to solve it: let $A$ be an abelian group such that $A$ is isomorphic to $A^3$. is then $A$ isomorphic to $A^2$? probably no, but how construct a ...

**32**

votes

**17**answers

5k views

### Canonical examples of algebraic structures

Please list some examples of common examples of algebraic structures. I was thinking answers of the following form.
"When I read about a [insert structure here], I immediately think of [example]."
...

**30**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Why is differential Galois theory not widely used?

E.R.Kolchin has developed the differential Galois theory in 1950s. And it seems powerful a tool which can decide the solvability and the form of solutions to a given differential equation.(e.g. ...

**29**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Algebraic dependency over $\mathbb{F}_{2}$

Let $f_{1},f_{2},\ldots,f_{n}$ be $n$ polynomials in $\mathbb{F}_{2}[x_{1},x_{2},\ldots,x_{n}]$
such that $\forall a=(a_1,a_2,\ldots,a_n)\in\mathbb{F}_{2}^{n}$ we have $\forall ...

**26**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Feit-Thompson Theorem: The Odd Order Paper

For reference, the Feit-Thompson Theorem states that every finite group of odd order is necessarily solvable. Equivalently, the theorem states that there exist no non-abelian finite simple groups of ...

**22**

votes

**9**answers

4k views

### What are the reasons for considering rings without identity?

I think a major reason is because Lie algebras don't have an identity, but I'm not really sure.

**22**

votes

**6**answers

4k views

### Do convolution and multiplication satisfy any nontrivial algebraic identities?

For (suitable) real- or complex-valued functions f and g on a (suitable) abelian group G, we have two bilinear operations: multiplication -
(f.g)(x) = f(x)g(x),
and convolution -
(f*g)(x) = ...

**21**

votes

**7**answers

3k views

### Consequences of not requiring ring homomorphisms to be unital?

As defined in many modern algebra books, a homomorphism of unital rings must preserve the unit elements: $f(1_R)=1_S$. But there has been a minority who do not require this, one prominent example ...

**21**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### How fast are a ruler and compass?

This may be more of a recreational mathematics question than a research question, but I have wondered about it for a while. I hope it is not inappropriate for MO.
Consider the standard assumptions ...

**20**

votes

**1**answer

4k views

### Infinite Tensor Products

Let $A$ be a commutative ring and $M_i, i \in I$ be a infinite family of $A$-modules. Define their tensor product $\bigotimes_{i \in I} M_i$ to be a representing object of the functor of multilinear ...

**17**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Invariant Polynomials under a Group Action (hidden GIT)

Let's say I start with the polynomial ring in $n$ variables $R = \mathbb{Z}[x_1,...,x_n]$ (in the case at hand I had $\mathbb{C}$ in place of $\mathbb{Z}$).
Now the symmetric group $\mathfrak{S}_n$ ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

4k views

### Generalization of the shakehands/condom puzzle?

The classic handshake puzzle goes something like this:
"Given that everyone has a different skin disease, how can you safely shake hands with 3 people when you have only 2 gloves?"
Its common ...

**15**

votes

**4**answers

7k views

### Famous exercise from Lang's Algebra

There's a famous story about an exercise from Lang's Algebra that says something along the lines of "pick up a homological algebra book and prove all of the theorems yourself". I cannot find it in ...

**14**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### Unique factorization domains

Let $c$ be an integer, not necessarily positive and $|c|$ not a square. Let $\mathbb{Z}[\sqrt{c}]$ be the set of complex numbers $$a+b\sqrt{c}, a, b\in \mathbb{Z},$$
which form a subring of the ring ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Does any textbook take this approach to the isomorphism theorems?

Below, I present an outline of a proof of the first isomorphism theorem for groups. This is how I usually think of the first isomorphism theorem for ______, but groups will get the points across. My ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

819 views

### Is Dependent Choice equivalent to the statement that every PID is factorial?

In this question, it was asked if AC is needed in the proof of the well-known fact that every principal ideal domain is factorial. As KConrad and Joel David Hamkins have pointed out, only DC, the ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

394 views

### Formally undecidable problems on finitely presented quandles

In the literature, one sometimes sees the claim that finitely presented quandles (in particular, knot quandles) are "hard to deal with". Hence, a great deal of effort has gone into studying finite ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

406 views

### A weird question about two weird decompositions of $\mathbb{R}$ as a $\mathbb{Q}$-vector space

While working in a question about the affine group $\text{Aff}(\mathbb{R})$, I have come up with the following strange question about the real numbers:
Question: Do there exist a non-trivial ...

**12**

votes

**5**answers

1k views

### Are rings really more fundamental objects than semi-rings?

The discovery (or invention) of negatives, which happened several centuries ago by the Chinese, Indians and Arabs, has of course be of fundamental importance to mathematics.
From then on, it seems ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

693 views

### Number of idempotent $n\times n$ matrices over $\mathbb{Z}_m$ ?

Is there any known formula for the number of idempotent $n\times n$ matrices over $\mathbb{Z}_m$ ?
The number of idempotent matrices over a finite field is well-known and since we can decompose $m$ ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

378 views

### $\mathbb{Z}G$ (left) Noetherian$\Rightarrow$ $l^1(G)$ is a flat $\mathbb{Z}G$-(right) module?

Let $G$ be a countable discrete group (not necessarily abelian), and suppose the group ring $\mathbb{Z}G$ is a left-Noetherian ring, for example, when $G$ is a polycyclic-by finite group.
Denote the ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

242 views

### Does every commutative variety of algebras have a cogenerator?

By a commutative variety $\mathcal{V}$ I mean a classical variety of algebras for some $(\Sigma,E)$, such that each pair of operations in $\Sigma$ commutes.
Equivalently (i) every interpretation of ...

**11**

votes

**3**answers

992 views

### Sign of infinite permutations?

Let $S_\infty$ the group of permutations of $\mathbb{N}$. It can be shown that there is no homomorphism $S_\infty \to \mathbf{Z}/2$ extending the sign on the finite symmetric groups. Is it possible to ...

**11**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Linearly independent subsets of a free module

Is it true that the cardinality of every maximal linearly independent subset of a finitely generated free module $A^{n}$ is equal to $n$ (not just at most $n$, but in fact $n$)? Here $A$ is a nonzero ...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

512 views

### Obstructions for a group to be the multiplicative group of a field [duplicate]

It is well known that every finite multiplicative subgroup of a field is cyclic.
I somehow got interested in a possible reverse implication:
Assume we have an abelian group $G$ whose every finite ...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Example of a Group which has $\text{SL}_{n}(\mathbb{Z})$ as the automorphism group

For the past one week, I have been trying to learn more about Automorphism groups of different groups. Very recently one of my friend asked this question to me:
What is the Autmorphism group of ...

**10**

votes

**5**answers

5k views

### Does category theory help understanding abstract algebra?

I'm studying category theory now as a "scientific initiation" (a program in Brazil where you study some subjects not commonly seen by a undergrad), but as I've never studied abstract algebra before, ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

482 views

### A group whose automorphism group is cyclic

Is there an Abelian group $A$ which is not locally cyclic whose automorphism group is cyclic ?
This question was first posted here.

**9**

votes

**2**answers

782 views

### Free division rings?

Does it make sense to talk about, say, the free division ring on 2 generators? If so, does the free division ring on countably many generators embed into the free division ring on two generators?

**9**

votes

**1**answer

349 views

### Given a rational number a/b does there exist a finite group G and an automorphism f s.t. f maps exactly a/b elements of G to their own inverses?

I was helping a friend prepare for his intro abstract final and he mentioned the professor had once asked the question name a group and an automorphism that takes 3/4 of the elements of the group to ...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

541 views

### Is $\mathbb{R}$ a $\mathbb{C}$-module without AC?

Assuming ZFC. We can make $(\mathbb{R},+)$ into a nontrivial(scaler multiplication is not identicaly zero) $\mathbb{C}$-module.
Now my questions are?
0.Is it consistent with $ZF$ that $\mathbb{R}$ is ...

**9**

votes

**3**answers

285 views

### Real and Quaternionic Representations according to Weights

According to this question, it is easy to know whether a representation is self dual or not: just check if the weight distribution in space is symmetric about the origin.
Now, for self dual ...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

408 views

### How is a descent datum the same as a comodule structure?

For a homomorphism of commutative rings $f:R\to S$, there are at least two notions of a descent datum for this map. One of these is to be an $S$-module $M$, with an isomorphism $M\otimes_R S\cong ...

**9**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Galois group of a product of polynomials

How can I compute the Galois group of the polynomial $fg\in K[x]$ assuming that I know the Galois groups of $f\in K[x]$ and $g\in K[x]$? Let's suppose for simplicity that the field $K$ is perfect.

**8**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Why are ring actions much harder to find than group actions?

I admit freely that the following question is a bit of a fishing expedition inspired by this lovely "definition" of a module as found on Wikipedia:
A module is a ring action on an abelian group.
...

**8**

votes

**10**answers

6k views

### Learning Algebra & Group Theory on my own [closed]

I'm learning Algebra & Group Theory, casually, on my own. Professionally, I'm a computer consultant, with a growing interest in the mathematical and theoretical aspects. I've been amazed with ...

**8**

votes

**4**answers

643 views

### Groups and rings which are not sets

An algebraic structure such as a group, ring, field, etc. is usually defined to be a set with some operations satisfying certain properties. I am curious what, if anything, goes wrong when the ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

371 views

### Generalizing detropicalization

Given an identity in max,plus arithmetic, are there ways to turn it into an ordinary algebraic identity it other than by replacing addition by multiplication and replacing max by series-plus or by ...

**7**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### motivation of filtered colimits

I am trying to move in categorical algebra beyond the basics. A Lawvere theory L is a small category with finite products. (I know that there also is a functor $(skeleton(FinSet))^{op}\to L$, which ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

124 views

### Realizing a monoid as $\mathrm{End}(G)$ for some graph $G$

This question relates to Realizing groups as automorphism groups of graphs.
Given a monoid $M$, is there a graph $G$ such that the endomorphism monoid $\textrm{End}(G)$ is isomorphic to $M$?

**7**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### fgf = f, gfg = g, fg not necessarily identity, what was that called?

A very simple question, I just totally forgot how it was called, and google is not helping.
There's a pair of functions $f:X\to Y$, $g:Y\to X$.
$fgf = f$, $gfg = g$, but $fg$ and $gf$ don't need to ...

**7**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Variants of Eisenstein irreducibility

In his article where he stated what we know as Eisenstein's irreducibility criterion (which actually was first proved by Schönemann, as was Scholz's reciprocity law and Hensel's Lemma), he ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

720 views

### The word “torsion” and its connection to geometry and homology

In an $R$-module $M$, an element $m \in M$ is said to be torsion if $am = 0$ for some $a \in R$ with $a \neq 0$.
Also, for a non-orientable (closed) surface such as the projective plane or the Klein ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

699 views

### Direct sum of injective modules over non-Noetherian rings

Hi. I know, by the Bass-Papp theorem, that if every direct sum of injective $R$-modules is injective then $R$ is Noetherian. I would like to know if there exists a direct sum of injective $R$-modules ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

745 views

### Virtual algebraic calculation within proofs

It seems to me that the undergraduates I teach have particular difficulty with proofs that involve reasoning about algebraic calculations that arise only theoretically. Since I have in mind doing ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

173 views

### Making an algebra the uniqe maximal one-sided ideal in another unital algebra

If $R$ is an algebra without a unit, then the standard unitisation $R^\sharp$ can have maximal one-sided ideals other than $R$. Thus, it is natural to ask about the following. Let $R$ be an algebra ...

**6**

votes

**13**answers

6k views

### Useless math that became useful

I'm writing an article on Lychrel numbers and some people pointed out that this is completely useless.
My idea is to amend my article with some theories that seemed useless when they are created but ...

**6**

votes

**8**answers

4k views

### Best way to teach concept of real numbers using a hands-on activity?

I know a middle school math teacher looking for some suggestions for hands-on activities to teach the concept of real numbers. I'm new to this site, so this may be a little off topic.

**6**

votes

**4**answers

381 views

### How universal is operadic approach to studying algebras?

I have just started to read about operads, so this question might be silly.
So it seems to me that any "reasonable" class of algebras can actually be defined as a class of all algebras over a certain ...