This course enables secondary mathematics teachers to see how commonly taught topics such as number systems and polynomials fit into the broader context of algebra. The course will begin with treatment of arithmetic, working through Euclid’s algorithm and its applications, the fundamental theorem of arithmetic and its applications, multiplicative functions, the Chinese remainder theorem and the arithmetic of Z/n. This information will be carried over to polynomials in one variable over the rational and real numbers, culminating in the construction of root fields for polynomials via quotients of polynomial rings. Arithmetic in the Gaussian integers and the integers in various other quadratic fields (especially the field of cube roots of unity) will be explored through applications such as the generation of Pythagorean triples and solutions to other Diophantine equations (like finding integersided triangles with a 60 degree angle). The course will then explore cyclotomy, and the arithmetic in rings of cyclotomic integers. This will culminate in Gauss’s construction of the regular 5-gon and 17-gon and the impossibility of constructing a 9-gon or trisecting a 60-degree angle. Finally, solutions of cubics and quartics by radicals will be studied. All topics will be based on the analysis of explicit calculations with (generalized) numbers. The proposed curriculum covers topics that are part of the folklore for high school mathematics (the impossibility of certain ruler and compass constructions), but that many teachers know only as facts. There are also many applications of the ideas that will allow the teachers to use results and ideas from abstract algebra to construct for their students problems that have manageable solutions.

# MME 529: Numbers, Polynomials and Algebraic Structures

Department