Mathematics

ECMM728 - Algebraic Number Theory (2015)

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MODULE TITLEAlgebraic Number Theory CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODEECMM728 MODULE CONVENERProf Andreas Langer (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 11
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

Algebraic number theory is the study of algebraic numbers, and is a topic at the forefront of research in modern pure mathematics. The topic grew from a desire to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem, conjectured by Pierre de Fermat in 1637 and proved by Andrew Wiles in 1995.  This module introduces and examines classes of algebraic objects, including algebraic number fields, rings of algebraic integers, and the set ideals in a ring of algebraic integers.

 

Towards the end of the module, you will learn about the factorisation of ideals in rings of algebraic integers.  The crowning glory of this module is the examination of the ideal class group of an algebraic number field.  This object measures the extent to which a ring of algebraic integers fails to be a principal ideal domain.

 

Prerequisite module: ECM3738 or equivalent.
 

AIMS - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to expose you to an important area of modern pure mathematics, namely the theory of algebraic number fields and their rings of integers. This underlies much contemporary research in number theory and arithmetic geometry, as well as finding applications in areas such as cryptography.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:
 

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:
1 give definitions of the mathematical objects introduced in this module, such as algebraic numbers, algebraic number fields, algebraic integers, ideals in a ring of integers, the ideal class group;
2 give definitions of functions, invariants, and other quantities associated with the objects mentioned in 1, such as norms and traces of algebraic numbers, rational and integral bases of algebraic number fields, discriminants of bases of number fields, norms of ideals, and the class number;
3 perform computations related to the mathematical objects introduced in this module;
4 state and prove theorems concerning the mathematical objects introduced in this module;
Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:
5 comprehend the role of algebraic methods in the systematic study of arithmetic problems;
6 be proficient at learning an advanced pure mathematical topic via the traditional definition-theorem-proof style of exposition.
Personal and Key Transferable/ Employment Skills and  Knowledge:
7 display enhanced problem-solving skills and ability to construct and comprehend rigorous mathematical arguments.
 

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

- algebraic number fields: degree, embeddings into the complex numbers, rings of integers, integral bases, discriminants;

- ideals;

- failure of unique factorisation into irreducibles;

- uniqueness of factorisation into prime ideals;

- equivalence of ideals;

- the ideal class group;

- Minkowski's Theorem;

- proof of finiteness of the class group;

- calculation of the class group in particular cases;

- application to Diophantine equations.
 

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 33.00 Guided Independent Study 117.00 Placement / Study Abroad
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 33 Lectures
Guided independent study 117 Assessment preparation; private study
     

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Not applicable      
       
       
       
       

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 20 Written Exams 80 Practical Exams
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Written exam – closed book 80 2 hours All Exam mark. Results released online
Coursework – Problem sheet 1 7 1-3 pages of problems All Written comments on script and model solutions available
Coursework – Problem sheet 2 7 1-3 pages of problems All Written comments on script and model solutions available
Coursework – Problem sheet 3 6 1-3 pages of problems All Written comments on script and model solutions available
         

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-reassessment
All above Written exam (100%) All August Ref/Def period
       
       

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

If a module is normally assessed entirely by coursework, all referred/deferred assessments will normally be by assignment.


If a module is normally assessed by examination or examination plus coursework, referred and deferred assessment will normally be by examination. For referrals, only the examination will count, a mark of 40% being awarded if the examination is passed. For deferrals, candidates will be awarded the higher of the deferred examination mark or the deferred examination mark combined with the original coursework mark.

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk


 

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Stewart I. & Tall D. Algebraic Number Theory and Fermat's Last Theorem 3rd Taylor and Francis 2002 978-1568811192 [Library]
Extended Frohlich, A , Taylor, M J Algebraic Number Theory Cambridge University Press 1991 978-0521366649 [Library]
Extended Alaca, S, Williams, K S Introductory Algebraic Number Theory Cambridge University Press 2004 978-0521540117 [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES ECM3738
CO-REQUISITE MODULES
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 7 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Friday 09 January 2015 LAST REVISION DATE Monday 12 January 2015
KEY WORDS SEARCH Algebraic number theory; Fermat's Last Theorem; rings of algebraic integers.