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08: General algebraic systems


Here is an excerpt from the Math Reviews review of the book by Burris and Sankappanavar:
"...Algebra has had a long association with
   universality. Newton's lectures on algebra were published in 1707 as
   Arithmetica universalis. However, the current meaning of the
   expression "universal algebra" dates from the work of Birkhoff and Ore
   in the 1930s. The appeal of the subject in its early years was
   probably due to its universality, but the work of a few dozen people
   during the past two decades has added a dimension of depth to the
   breadth that was the original trademark of universal algebra. "
             Reviewed by R. S. Pierce
   © Copyright American Mathematical Society 1983, 1997

For more information about this field, see that review (83k:08001) or 94d:08001.


Applications and related fields

"Algebra" is a very broad section of mathematics; there are separate index pages here for specific algebraic categories (groups, fields, etc.) This heading focuses both on the broad principles covering all of algebra and on specific algebraic constructs not included in those other areas. By extension (and somewhat inappropriately) we use it to house a few resources discussing many areas of algebra.

Universal algebra is arguably more a topic in Logic (03C05) (Model Theory), hence there is significant overlap.

For Boolean algebras and generalizations see Ordered algebraic structures (06E).

For groupoids, semigroups, and other multiplicative sets see Group Theory (sections 20L, 20M, 20N).

There is a Ring FAQ delineating some of the field-like structures such as division rings.

"Varieties" in this sense have nothing to do with varieties in Algebraic Geometry [Schematic of subareas and related areas]


This is one of the smallest fields within the Math Reviews database.

Browse all (old) classifications for this area at the AMS.

Textbooks, reference works, and tutorials

Some textbooks:

There is a review volume, surveying much of the literature through 1988: Consult Math Reviews (review 91c:08001) for details. (The survey is in Russian and not readily available to me.) See also Featured Review MR97e:08002 (by Joel Berman) of some papers by Ralph McKenzie for a further overview of recent results in finite algebras and equational logic.

This is perhaps the most appropriate page to list some texts and resources applicable to many areas of abstract algebra:

Software and tables

Other web sites with this focus

Selected topics at this site

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Last modified 2000/01/14 by Dave Rusin. Mail: