Math 412/612 Modern Algebra Fall 2016

**Course Portfolio
**

Your portfolio should be a three
ring binder with separate sections as
described below. The sections should be separated using tabbed dividers, so I can easily
turn to any section I wish. All material should be placed on the
rings of the binder. Do not put papers into the pockets of the
binder, or into covers or pockets that are then placed on the
rings. I should be able to review all the material by turning
pages, without having to take pages out of covers or enclosures.

Note that there are different
criteria of evaluation for
the different sections. In particular, the material in your **Polished
Work**
section should be high quality finished products. In contrast, the
section
of your homework assignments should include all of your problem sets. I
do
not expect every one of these problem sets to have the finished quality
of
a term paper. These ideas are presented in greater detail below.

Your portfolio is **not** the same as a course notebook. In
particular,
the following items should **not** be in your portfolio: assignment
sheets,
handouts with information about the course, class notes.

Each section that should be in your portfolio is described separately below. Use the headings below (except for the last one, Evaluation) as the titles for the sections of your portfolio.

An important aspect of this course will be the development of active reading strategies designed to decode written mathematics. When you set out to read a section of the text, keep paper and pen or pencil at hand and plan to use them frequently. As you read, you should be formulating and answering questions, making up examples, drawing figures, etc. All of this should be recorded on paper. This work should be included in the portfolio, at least at the start of the course. This is work in progress and is not expected to be in polished form. However, when you sit down to read a section of the text, you should begin a new page of the reading log, with a heading indicating the section of the text and the page number.

The reading log is not an outline of what you have read. I am not
asking
that you produce a list with the section headings, definitions, and
theorems.
Instead, you should record ideas that expand on what is in the text.
For
example, one of the topics we will read about is a kind of number
system
called a *ring*. After you read that definition, you might ask,
in
the log, what familiar algebraic systems satisfy the definition of a
ring.
Are the integers a ring? Are the real numbers? Are the 2 by 2 matrices?
I
would like to see such questions in your reading log, as well as any
answers
you find, of course.

Problem sets will be assigned from each section of the text and
collected
daily. All problem sets should be included in your portfolio. Please
include the problem sets in chronological order, and staple each set's
pages together.

Several problems in each problem set will be marked with an asterisk (*). These problems are to be polished into a final form that meets the same standards for form and neatness that you would expect for a term paper. Generally these will be proofs, and will require written out explanations of your reasoning.

For more information about how polished work should be formulated
and presented, including some options for word
processing software, see Mathematical Writing.

This section should include your graded exams, as well as a copy of
the graded exam solutions group
projects handed in by your group. .

Evaluation

During the
semester individual assignments will be collected and
graded, taking into consideration mathematical correctness,
readability, clarity, and proper mathematical formatting. At the
end of the semester, complete portfolios will be reviewed. Based
on both the record of graded items and the overall review, a numerical
score will be assigned.