2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
MATH3071 Groups and Symmetry
15 creditsClass Size: 108
Module manager: Dr Joao Faria Martins
Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable
Year running 2022/23
Pre-requisite qualificationsMATH2020 or MATH2022 or equivalent
This module is mutually exclusive with
|Groups, Symmetry and Galois Theory
This module is not approved as a discovery module
Module summaryGroup theory is the mathematical theory of symmetry. Groups arise naturally in both pure and applied mathematics, for example in the study of permutations of sets, rotations and reflections of geometric objects, symmetries of physical systems and the description of molecules, crystals and materials.Groups have beautful applications to counting problems, in which objects are counted up to symmetry, answering questions like: "How many ways are there to colour the faces of a cube with m different colours, up to rotation of the cube?".
ObjectivesTo review and develop the basic notions and theorems of group theory.
To introduce the notion of a group acting on a set and its properties.
To study the powerful Sylow theorems which give information on the structure of an arbitrary finite group in terms of the prime divisors of its order; to use group actions in this study.
To give an introduction to Pólya counting theory and how it is used to count objects up to symmetry.
To develop the skills of rigorous logical argument and problem-solving in the context of group theory and symmetry.
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
a) Prove and use basic results on groups, homomorphisms and quotients;
b) Prove and use basic results of group actions;
d) Represent a group by permutations;
e) Use Sylow's theorems to show that a group is not simple;
f) Apply Pólya counting theory to some simple counting problems.
Revision of basic properties of groups.
Subgroups, homomorphisms, Lagrange's Theorem.
Symmetric group, sign of a permutation, cycle decomposition.
Group actions, Cayley's Theorem, Orbit-Stabiliser Theorem, application to symmetric group Sylow theorems and applications, simple groups.
Burnside's Lemma, Pólya counting theory.
If time permits, extra topics to be chosen from: group presentations, symmetry groups of planar and three-dimensional figures.
|Private study hours
|Total Contact hours
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)
Private studyStudying and revising of course material.
Completing of assignments and assessments.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackRegular problem solving assignments
Methods of assessment
|% of formal assessment
|Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)
|2 hr 30 mins
|Total percentage (Assessment Exams)
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 09/05/2022 09:13:03
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