MAS276 - Rings and Groups
(formerly known as PMA216)
Spring 2013
Dr E. Cheng
Office: Hicks J24

Office hours (subject to change)
Tuesday 12pm-12.50pm

Course syllabus
Information about online tests
Notes, links etc
Anonymous questionnaires
Exam papers

Frequently Asked Questions

I don't like my tutorial time. Can I swap?
You can only swap if you have an actual clash, or can find someone to swap with, or if you want to swap INTO a 4pm tutorial. Otherwise the numbers will go wrong.

I missed the lecture. Can you give me the notes?
If you miss a lecture it's your responsibility to catch up. You should first try and fill in the gaps in the printed notes yourself, then ask a friend who was at the lecture.

Do we have to learn the proofs for the exam?
You need to be able to prove things in the exam. This doesn't necessarily mean learning proofs off by heart - it's better to understand the proof and remember the main idea of it, and then work out the proof logically yourself. People who try to learn proofs off by heart often write down something very similar to a proof, but crucially wrong. 

When will the solutions to the past exam papers become available?
Solutions will only be provided to the sample papers; these will be available after the Easter holiday..

The notes are too chatty for my liking - can you make some less chatty ones for us?
No. If you want more terse notes for revision then I applaud you, but you should make them yourself.

When will homework and tutorial solutions become available?
After the tutorials each week.

Where's your office?
Hicks J24.

All questions about online tests: see below

Online tests

The online tests are worth a total of 20% of the final mark. There are ten tests, due each week on Friday at 3am from weeks 2 to 11 inclusive.  Yes, the deadline is in the middle of the night, to prevent system overloads close to the deadline. Each week the test will become available after Monday's tutorials. The tests may have different numbers of questions but each week is worth the same. 

To do the online test, go to this webpage and follow the instructions:

You will need to select Rings and Groups, and use your usual login, but get the system to send you a

Please try the system *early* so that we have time to deal with technical problems that will probably arise.  If you run into technical problems at 2.55am before the deadline I will not be able to help you. One possible problem is if you registered late for the course so aren't on the system yet. 

Some of the test will involve typing in answers, and some is multiple choice. Some of the multiple choice questions will have more than one possible right answer (these are called "multiple response"), so to get full marks you must select precisely all the correct answers, every single one that applies.  You can tell the difference by seeing if the answers are offered with little circles to select the correct answer, or square boxes that produce a tick if you click on them, with a possible choice of "None of the above". 

You can mark your answers immediately, and if you get something wrong you can have a second attempt; you will only get half marks for your second answer.

It's ok to discuss the test questions with other people, but you should make sure that when you put your final answers in you are doing it by yourself. You may use your lecture notes as much as you want.  Note that the tests are randomised so that everyone will get a slightly different test.  Each test may include anything from the course so far, together with general mathematical skills, or revision from Groups and Symmetries or Numbers and Proofs. 

Note on the marking of multiple response answers

When you mark a multiple response question, you may be told that you are "partially correct".  This will happen if you are not completely right or completely wrong.  Here, "completely wrong" means that
This can result in some slightly odd notions of "partially correct".  For example: you are asked whether a function is injective, surjective, bijective.  If it is actually none of the above, but you select "injective" you will be told that you are partially correct.  This sounds silly in normal English but makes sense according to the logic explained above.

Handouts, links etc
Note that some of these links will not open until the relevant time (eg homework solutions).

The YouTube channel for this course can be found here.

Booklet of lecture notes and exercises.

How to write proofs: a quick guide

Anonymous Questionnaires
Questionnaire 1
Questionnaire 2


Note that the following solutions may say "PMA216 2009" on them, but they haven't changed.
If you downloaded last year's solutions before the semester began, they will be the right ones.
It's up to you whether or not you use those illicit solutions to help you do the work.
Think about what will be of most benefit to you.

Homework model answers available after hand-in:
1 pdf YouTube
2 pdf YouTube
3 pdf YouTube
4 pdf YouTube
5 pdf YouTube
6 pdf YouTube
7 pdf YouTube
8 pdf YouTube
9 pdf  YouTube

Tutorial solutions available after Monday of week n:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

YouTube: the distributive law on Countdown

Exam papers

The exam format changed last year because of the online tests.
Sample papers in the new format are available below; solutions will be available in Week 11.

Sample Paper A      solutions
Sample Paper B      solutions

Note on the markscheme.

Past paper 2011-12

  The previous year's paper, in the old format, is available below.

Past paper 2010-11        feedback

Last updated 19/01/13 at 11:23