2pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and even Wednesdays
(18/1, 1/2, 15/2, 1/3, 15/3), room 416
4pm on Thursdays, starting 19/1, room 104
This page is in addition to the official
departmental page. You might also find the previous
(2003-4) useful. There is a Galois Theory
chat page specifically for your use.
The best book for the course is Ian Stewart's Galois
Theory, which is clear and very popular. The
University bookshop should have copies (let me know if not), and
you can also order it from the usual online shops.
If you have questions, feel free to mail me (address at bottom of
page) or visit me in my office (room 435).
Galois was the James Dean of mathematics: he lived fast (arrested
twice for revolutionary activities) and died young (in a pistol duel
over a woman, aged 20). Of course, he also invented Galois Theory,
and in doing so both solved one of the outstanding problems of
contemporary mathematics and sowed the seeds of modern algebra.
Abel prepared the ground for Galois: he showed that there is no
general formula for solving the quintic, a result that Galois later
refined. He died of tuberculosis, penniless, at the age of 26.
The early deaths of Galois and Abel contributed greatly to the
notion that mathematicians do their best work while very young. How's
that for logic?
Ruffini made the PR boob of not dying young, so no one's heard of
him. Nevertheless, he had most of Galois Theory worked out while
Galois was still in nappies. In his lifetime, as now, he was mostly ignored.
This page was last modified on 10 January 2006.