Abstract algebra: my idea of a fun Friday night

It’s no secret that I’m a huge geek, but spending the better part of an evening reading an abstract algebra book may seal the deal. I started by comparing the two books that I learned algebra from. The first book was a book written by my professor just for the class; the second was a dense and well-known algebra book (Dummit and Foote’s Abstract Algebra, if you’re really curious) and the book I used for my special study in algebra. I knew there would be a lot of differences just because of the natures of the two books. One book contained humor; the other did not. One book left more exercises for the reader than the other. One book has a downright awful definition for a quotient group. Well, once you read all the context behind the definition it’s a little less awful, but the definition can really be condensed into much easier terms. Really, Dummit and Foote, you don’t need to use fibers to explain a quotient group.

I’ve had a lot of fun this evening going through my algebra books, though. If I weren’t pressured by the need to sleep I’d be staying up longer to keep reading and working on exercises. Yes, this is my Friday night: doing abstract algebra for fun. That’s what the weekend is for, though.

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