Department of Mathematical Sciences
Northern Illinois University

MATH 523, Summer 2008

12:30-1:45, M T W Th, Faraday 205

June 16 - August 7

Professor John Beachy, Watson 355, 753-6753

Office Hours: 2:00 - 3:00 (in Watson 355), or by appointment

email: | my homepage:


Concepts and techniques of modern algebra which are useful in applied mathematics. Topics include applications of group theory to coding, applications of latice theory to switching theory, and applications of ring theory to linear automata.

PREREQUISITE: MATH 420 or consent of department

TEXT: Introduction to Algebraic Coding Theory, by Sarah Adams
A copy of the text (in .pdf format) is available on the course homepage

SYLLABUS: The topics covered will include linear codes and cyclic codes. I hope to finish all of the textbook. There will be supplementary lectures notes on polynomials over fields and on the structure of finite fields.
If time permits, there will be some material on codes based on elliptic curves from the Trappe and Washington text. I may also have time to cover public key encryption methods.

GRADING: Semester grades will be based on 400 points:

100 points for the midterm exam
200 points for homework
100 points for the final exam

MIDTERM: Tentatively scheduled for the end of the 4th week of class.

FINAL: Tentatively scheduled for the last day of class.