Math 251: Theory of Rings

Instructor: T. Y. Lam

Time: MWF 10 a.m.

Room: 70 Evans

Main Text: T. Y. Lam: A First Course in Noncommutative Rings, 2nd Ed. Graduate Texts in Math., Vol. 131, Springer, to appear, 2001.

Suppl. Reading: T. Y. Lam: Exercises in Classical Ring Theory, Problem Books in Math., Springer, 1995.

This course will be an introduction to basic ring theory, mostly from a noncommutative perspective. Topics will include: semisimple rings and Artin-Wedderburn theorem, radical theory and Jacobson density theorem, prime and semiprime rings, local and semilocal rings, etc. I'll try to cover more than half of my book.

Since everything is written down already in the text, I will not repeat too many proofs, but will instead count on the students to read them at home. In lectures, I'll only present selected proofs, try to do some exercises (or volunteer you to do them!), and discuss motivation and perspectives. As a result, the course will occasionally be run like a seminar, with students doing the presentation. There will be no finals, and students will be graded by their homework and participation. Those less prepared to participate actively are encouraged to take the course on S-NS basis.

Note that the meeting time for this course has been changed, so that there is now no conflict with Professor Hartshorne's Math 256B.

The main text has been out of print for some time, and will be reissued in second edition by Springer in 2001. Unfortunately, it will be available only in Spring. I am currently negotiating with Springer for a good pre-publication discount (applicable to both the main text and the supplementary exercise book). Thus, if you are interested in ordering one or both of these books, please leave a message in my mailbox so I can determine the size of the order. For those placing such advance orders, I believe Springer will be willing to supply free velo-bound copies of page-proofs of the first few chapters of the book to get the course started. So please contact you soon if you are going to take the course and want to order the above book(s).