Math 506, Spring 2022

Catalog description: The study of algebraic topics taken from mappings, semi-groups, groups, Sylow theorems, group actions, rings, ascending and descending chain conditions, polynomial rings, fields, field extensions, Galois theory, Modules, Tensor products.

Math 506, Spring 2022 Syllabus

  1. Course Information
    1. Instructor
    2. Section
  2. Course Learning Outcomes
  3. Course Text
  4. Grading
  5. Help
    1. Student times
    2. University Resources
    3. Additional Help
  6. Important Dates
  7. Other

Course Information

Course Number:
Math 506
Course Title:
Advanced Algebra


Zach Teitler [he/him/his]
MB 233A
Office Phone:


Meeting Times:
MoWeFr 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Meeting Remotely:
We will meet remotely using Zoom. Zoom sessions may be recorded for students who are not able to attend.

Course Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Read, write, and communicate about abstract algebra at an advanced level.

  2. Describe connections between abstract algebra and other areas of mathematics and statistics.

  3. Use abstract algebra to solve problems.

Course Text

We will follow Algebraic Statistics by Seth Sullivant. The list of chapters is as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Probability Primer
  3. Algebra Primer
  4. Conditional Independence
  5. Statistics Primer
  6. Exponential Families
  7. Likelihood Inference
  8. The Cone of Sufficient Statistics
  9. Fisher’s Exact Test
  10. Bounds on Cell Entries
  11. Exponential Random Graph Models
  12. Design of Experiments
  13. Graphical Models
  14. Hidden Variables
  15. Phylogenetic Models
  16. Identifiability
  17. Model Selection
  18. MAP Estimation
  19. Finite Metric Spaces

I tentatively plan to cover chapters 1-8, 13-16, and others as time permits. The choice of covered chapters will take into account student interests.


Students enrolled in the course will be asked to complete written homework and/or short topic presentations in class.


Student times

I am here to support your learning. I encourage you to meet with me when you feel that you need support or assistance.

Student drop-in time:
Tuesdays 10:30am-11:45am
Student appointment time:
Tuesdays 1:30pm-2:45pm
Make an appointment by emailing me or using appointment link within Canvas
Additional appointments:
Email me to set up an appointment on other days or times

Student times will be remote via Zoom using my office zoom link (listed in Canvas, or email me for the link).

University Resources

Boise State University’s The Basics web page has links to many forms of support, ranging from academic resources to family, living, and food resources.

The Graduate College has many resources for graduate students such as GradWell, the Graduate Student Success Center, and Graduate Writing Consultations, as wells as forms, deadlines, and graduation information for graduate students.

Additional Help

You may reach out to me at any time if there’s anything I can help with or if there’s anything you think I should know.

Important Dates

Monday 1/10 First day of classes
Monday 1/17 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day. No classes.
Monday 1/24 Last day to register/add or to drop without a W
Monday 2/21 Presidents’ Day. No classes.
Friday 3/18 Last day to drop with a W or completely withdraw
  3/21-25 Spring Break. No classes.
Friday 4/29 Last day of instruction for regular classes


Respect for Diversity:
Students from all backgrounds and with all perspectives are welcome in this course. It is my intent that all students be well served by this course, that students’s learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength, and benefit. It is my intent to maintain a classroom atmosphere that is welcoming and respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.
Math Department Inclusivity:
The Boise State Mathematics Department is committed to supporting persons of diverse backgrounds in an inclusive environment. Read more in the Math Department’s Inclusivity Statement.
ADA Policy Statement:
Students with disabilities needing accommodations to fully participate in this class should contact the EAC. All accommodations must be approved through the EAC prior to being implemented. To learn more about the accommodation process, visit the EAC’s website at
In accordance with Boise State University Policy #2280, it is expected that you will receive and read emails sent to your email address.
Additional information and updates may be announced in class, sent by email, and/or posted on Canvas (
Academic Integrity:
Getting answers to homework, quiz, or exam problems from unauthorized sources is a very serious form of academic misconduct.
Behavioral Expectations:
Every student has the right to a respectful learning environment. In order to provide this right to all students, students must take individual responsibility to conduct themselves in a mature and appropriate manner and will be held accountable for their behavior in accordance with Boise State University Policy #2050.