Number Theory II, MATH 456/656, Spring 2008

This is the home page and first day handout for MAT 456/656, meeting MW from 2:30 -- 3:45 in CBC-C114.  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 455/655.

Texts: We have two texts:  The first is our text from MATH 455 (fall 2007).  The second is new.
Syllabus: From the first text, I want to cover Chapters 12 -- 15 on primes (together with a handout?), and perhaps primitive roots (Ch. 22), quadratic residues (Chs. 23 -- 25), and continued fractions (Chs. 39 -- 40).   From the second text, we will begin at the beginning and cover as much as we can about elliptic curves.  I may sacrifice Chapter V so that we can cover Chapter VI (Complex multiplication).  I may also refer back to our first text to introduce modular forms.  

Grading Scheme:
This is the grading scheme for this course: Exams one and two might 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 656 might 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 projects.

Special Circumstance:  I plan to attend a conference May 12th -- 16th.  Consequently, someone else will proctor the final and I will not begin grading it until May 17th.

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.

I expect to be around almost every Monday and Wednesday morning, so those would be good times to make last minute appointments.  I should also be able to handle quick questions between 2:15 and 2:30.  I teach in CBC-C117 until 2:15.  If noone has shown for office hours by 4:15 pm, then I will feel free to leave.    

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