We have a natural asthetic attraction to symmetry — works of art, architecture, and objects in the natural
world seem more beautiful when they are symmetric. We also use symmetry in a practical way: the
symmetry of a problem often lets us reduce the work in analyzing it.
Groups are the mathematical way we encode symmetry, from symmetry in the physical world around us to
symmetry in mathematical structures. Like the idea which it incarnates, the theory of groups is beautiful,
elegant, powerful, and incredibly useful.
This course is an introduction to the theory of groups, intended for students in Mathematics and Physics, and anyone
with and enthusiasm for mathematics. We will study the abstract structure of groups, their appearances as physical
and mathematical symmetries, their actions, and their applications.
Instructor: Mike Roth 
Office Hours: TBA

Textbook: Groups and Symmetry, by M. A. Armstrong, published by SpringerVerlag 
Classes (slot 5) 
Tue. 9:30–10:30 
Thurs. 8:30–9:30 
Fri. 10:30–11:30 
All classes are in Jeff 115. 
Grading Scheme


Homework 
25% 
Midterm 
25% 
Final 
50% 
There are twelve homework assignments during the semester.
The lowest two of these twelve grades will be dropped when computing the homework grade for the course.
Important Dates


Midterm 
Nov. 1 
18:30—20:30 
Jeff 118 

Final 
Dec. 14 
9:00—12:00 
Walter Light Hall 