Number Theory, MATH 455/655, Fall 2008
This is the home page and first day handout for MAT 455/655, meeting
TR from 8:30am -- 9:45 in CBC-C225. My name is Dr.
Arthur Baragar, my office is CBC-B 308, and I can be reached
at 895-0378. Important information announced in class will also
be posted on WebCampus.
The prerequisite for this course is MATH 330 (linear algebra).
Syllabus: This course is expected to cover the following topics
in number theory:
Text: A Friendly Introduction
to Number Theory, third edition, by Joseph H. Silverman, published
by Prentice Hall. The website for this text is at http://www.math.brown.edu/~jhs/frint.html.
- Chapters 1 -- 4: Introduction.
- Chapters 5 -- 7: The Euclidean algorithm.
- Chapter 8 -- 11: Modular arithmetic.
- Chapter 12 -- 15: Primes.
- Chapter 16 -- 18: RSA (modern cryptography).
- Chapter 19: Better composite tests.
- Chapters 28 -- 32: Fermat's Last Theorem, Pell's equation,
- Chapters 43 -- 48: A very quick introduction to elliptic
Grading Scheme: This is the grading scheme for this course:
Exams one and two will have an in class component and a take home
component. Exam three is a take home exam. The take home components
are due the following Monday at the beginning of class. The
grading scheme for students taking MAT 655 will be slightly different.
There is no preset corelation between numerical grades and letter grades.
A letter grade (without + or -), a report card, if you like, will be posted
on WebCampus after every exam. The distribution of
the "Uncommitted points" will be described in class. They are to allow
flexibility in the grading scheme, and may go to, for example, special
- Homework: 10%.
- Exam one, Tuesday, September 30th: 17%.
- Exam two, Tuesday, October 28th: 17%.
- Exam three, Thursday, November 20th: 16%.
- Final, Thursday, December 11th, 8am -- 10am: 30%.
- Uncommitted points: 10%
Unusual circumstance: I will be attending a conference the
week following Thanksgiving (12/1 -- 12/5), which is our study week.
Office Hours: If you need to see me, please look for me during
the office hours posted below, or please make an appointment. Office hours
begin the second week of classes.
Both sets of office hours immediately follow a class, and is primarily
intended for the students whose class just ended. You are welcome to
show up at that time too, but I may be helping students in our classroom,
rather than in my office, so do not be surprised if I show up late. Office
hours begin the second week of classes.
- Tuesday and Thursday, 9:45 -- 10:30, 2:15 -- 3:00.
- ... or by appointment.
Other Important Dates: (See the UNLV
calendar for more details.)
"If you have a documented disability that requires
assistance, you will need to contact Disability Services (DS) for coordination
in your academic accommodations. DS is located within the Learning Enhancement
Services (LES), in the Reynolds Student Services Center (SSC), Room 137.
The DS phone number is 702-895-0866, TDD 895-0652." Their
website is at http://studentlife.unlv.edu/disability/.
- August 25: Instruction and late registration begin.
- August 29: Final date for late registration, course
additions, changes, or fee payment (with late penalty). Last
day to inform me of absences due to religious holidays. Last
day to drop a course without it showing up on transcripts.
- September 1: Labor Day recess.
- October 31: Nevada Day recess (Friday).
- November 3: Final date to drop or withdraw from classes
(except short courses).
- November 11: Veterans' Day recess (Tuesday).
- November 27: Thanksgiving.
- December 1 -- 6: Study Week.
- December 9 --13: Final examinations.
"The University requires all members of the University Community
to familiarize themselves and to follow copyright and fair use requirements.
YOU ARE INDIVIDUALLY AND SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR VIOLATIONS OF COPYRIGHT
AND FAIR USE LAWS. THE UNIVERSITY WILL NEITHER PROTECT NOR DEFEND
YOU NOR ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR EMPLOYEE OR STUDENT VIOLATIONS OF
FAIR USE LAWS. Violations of copyright laws could subject you to federal
and state civil penalties and criminal liability as well as disciplinary
action under University policies. To familiarize yourself with copyright
and fair use policies, the University encourages you to visit its copyright
website at http://www.unlv.edu/committees/copyright.
UNLV Home Page * Arthur Baragar's Home Page