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Galois Theory for Beginners: A Historical Perspective
Jörg Bewersdorff
Translated by David Kramer

Student Mathematical Library
2006; 180 pp; softcover
Volume: 35
ISBN-10: 0-8218-3817-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-3817-4
List Price: US$38
Institutional Members: US$30.40
All Individuals: US$30.40
Order Code: STML/35
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See also:

Abstract Algebra - Ronald Solomon

Galois theory is the culmination of a centuries-long search for a solution to the classical problem of solving algebraic equations by radicals. In this book, Bewersdorff follows the historical development of the theory, emphasizing concrete examples along the way. As a result, many mathematical abstractions are now seen as the natural consequence of particular investigations.

Few prerequisites are needed beyond general college mathematics, since the necessary ideas and properties of groups and fields are provided as needed. Results in Galois theory are formulated first in a concrete, elementary way, then in the modern form. Each chapter begins with a simple question that gives the reader an idea of the nature and difficulty of what lies ahead. The applications of the theory to geometric constructions, including the ancient problems of squaring the circle, duplicating the cube, and trisecting an angle, and the construction of regular \(n\)-gons are also presented.

This book is suitable for undergraduates and beginning graduate students.


Undergraduates and graduate students interested in Galois Theory.


"For those with minimal exposure to undergraduate mathematics, the book would make for some formidable reading. ... it provides excellent historical and mathematical context."

-- S. J. Colley, Oberlin College for CHOICE Reviews

"...the author has produced both a lovely invitation and a profound first introduction to the realm of Galois theory for everyone."

-- Zentralblatt MATH

"...the book is well-written and pleasant to read."

-- Bill Satzer for MAA Reviews

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