Math 122
Modules and Group Representations

Course Information

Lecture: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:30am–11:20am
Building 380 (Sloan Hall), Room 380-D (Basement Floor, Room D)

Course Webpage:
Grades will be made available through Canvas.

Previous years’ webpages:

Textbook: Dummit–Foote, Abstract Algebra
Suggested Reading: Fulton–Harris, Representation Theory (pdf at SpringerLink)

Professor: Jenny Wilson
Office Hours: Wed 12pm–1:30pm and Thurs 3pm–4:30pm
Office: Building 380 (Sloan Hall), Room 382-H (Second Floor, Room H)

Course Assistant: Bogdan Zavyalov
Email: bogdzav "at"
Office Hours: Tues 10am–12pm and Thurs 10am–11am (starting Week 3)
Week 2 will have a single office hours Thursday 13 April 10am–1pm
Office: Building 380 (Sloan Hall), Room 381-N (First Floor, Room N)

Course Description: Modules over PID. Tensor algebra. Group representations and group rings. Maschke's theorem and character theory. Character tables, construction of representations. Prerequisite: Math 120. Also recommended: 113.

Syllabus: We will follow Dummit & Foote Chapters 10, 12, 18, and parts of 19 as time permits.

Grading Scheme:
Homework    50%
Midterm I 15%
Midterm II 15%
Final 20%

Several homework assignments will include (optional) bonus questions. Students may receive extra credit for correctly completing these problems, to a maximum homework grade of 55%.

Students with documented disabilities: Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is made. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (723-1066,

Homework policy: Homework assignments will be posted to the course webpage. Homework is due Fridays, and collected at the beginning of lecture. Late homework is generally not accepted except under extenuating circumstances. Your homework solutions should be neat, legible, and stapled . You may work in groups and discuss homework problems with other students, but your solutions must be written up independently and in your own words.

Each student's lowest homework score will be dropped.

You are welcome to use other texts and online resources to review the mathematical theory and computational techniques we cover. You may not, however, seek out solutions to specific homework problems. Outside sources should be used to improve your understanding of the material, not as a shortcut to finish assignments with an incomplete understanding. Use your discretion.

You are encouraged to discuss the homework with classmates and work on difficult problems in groups. You must, however, write your own homework solutions, and you are responsible for understanding what you've written. The homework is your foremost resource for practice with the course material, and for feedback on your work. Doing the homework thoughtfully is essential to your success in this class.

Grading systems: I discourage students from taking Math 122 on a CR/NC basis. Please talk to me if you are considering this option.

Honour Code: The Stanford Honour Code is available through Stanford's Office of Community Standards.


Homework 1 Due: Friday 7 April 2017           
Before Week 2, please complete the (anonymous) entrance survey
and the (non-anonymous) midterm availability survey
Homework 2 Due: Friday 14 April 2017           
Homework 3 Due: Friday 21 April 2017           
Homework 4 Due: Friday 28 April 2017           
Homework 5 Due: Friday 5 May 2017           
Homework 6 Due: Friday 12 May 2017           
Homework 7 Due: Friday 19 May 2017           
Homework 8 Due: Friday 26 May 2017           
Homework 9 Due: Monday 5 June 2017           


The course will have two closed-book midterm exams.

The exams are designed to take one hour, but you may take up to two hours to write them. No books, notes, calculators, cell phones, or other electronic aids are permitted.

Midterm I:   Tuesday 2 May, 7–9pm
Location: Building 380 (Math department), room 380-C (Basement room C)
Alternate time (opt-in) 6–8pm in room 380-Y (Basement room Y)

Doors to the basement are locked at 5pm. Please enter the building through the first floor front doors after this time.

Midterm I will cover material up to and including Wednesday 26 April (Week 4). Review questions are available here:

Midterm I Review           

Midterm I and solutions are available here:

Midterm I Solutions           

Midterm II:   Tuesday 30 May, 7–9pm
Location: Building 380 (Math department), room 380-C (Basement room C)
Alternate time (opt-in) 6–8pm in room 380-Y (Basement room Y)

Midterm II will cover material up to and including Wednesday 24 May (Week 8). Review questions are available here:

Midterm II Review           

Midterm II and solutions are available here:

Midterm II Solutions           

Outside Reading

The following reading is strictly optional: it is not related to the course material and will not be discussed in the course. These are articles on math education and learning psychology which may be of interest to math students.

Dweck - Beliefs about intelligence (

Kimball and Smith - The myth of 'I'm bad at math' (The Atlantic)

Tough - Who gets to graduate (New York Times Magazine)

Paul - How to be a better test-taker (New York Times)

Boaler - Timed tests and the development of math anxiety (Education Week)

Parker - Learn math without fear (Stanford Report)

Steele - Thin ice: stereotype threat and black college students (The Atlantic)

Vedantam - How stereotypes can drive women to quit science (NPR)

Stroessner and Good - Stereotype threat: an overview (University of Arizona)

Lockhart - A mathematician's lament (Mathematical Association of America)

Duchin - The sexual politics of genius (Tufts University)

Webpage design by Andreas Viklund