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Daer Dr. Moreno,

Thanks for your message to the forum which I will also answer in the

forum because we are asked similar questions through different

channels more often.

I am new here, hello to all.

First question: is there a FAQ somewhere?

I am afraid the answer is no, although for some time there has been

the intention to start something of the kind. Maybe the St Andrews

team which will take over responsibility for GAP this Summer will be

able to provide such. If you look at the WWW pages for GAP

http://www.math.rwth-aachen.de/LDFM/GAP

you will see that at least some steps have been taken to make GAP

relevant information more easily available, in particular you can

search through the correspondence in the GAP forum (up to September

last year)

If not, does anybody know about some material which could help me

in a course of elementary group theory? In fact, as I am

completely new to GAP, anything with practical examples would be

welcome. (Yes, I have got the manual, but as it is 1227 pages

long the reading is slow.)

We have collected exercises from various courses and workshops and you

can get this material through ftp:

ftp.math.rwth-aachen.de/tmp/exercise.zoo

However this material has not been ordered or brought into a common

format, in fact not even been controlled recently, if it still matches

the latest version of GAP. So at best this can give you some hints.

Of course the path to hell is paved with good intentions: I have a

couple of students at present who will become math teachers and for

their thesis (Staatsexamensarbeit) are working out a set of excercises

with solutions that could accompany certain parts of a group theory

course. At present there is only a draft *in German*. If you or

somebody else is strongly interested (s)he can get part of it as a

pre-alpha release, i.e. more with our hope that we might get good

suggestions than with any promise. If and when this material may

become publicly available in English, I do not want to make promises.

As said, the question of using GAP in teaching has come up in the GAP

forum before, and I have compiled some of that correspondance in a

file, I will send you a copy of that file.

It seems to me GAP could be a good help for students to better

understand and manipulate groups. Has any of you got any

experience on this?

I do agree and in fact we are using it for this purpose alongside

various courses on group theory, representation theory and more

generally algebra (the share package GUAVA has been used with course

on coding theory, I believe, although with this I have no experience

myself), but in a very much ad hoc fashion. That is, we give our

students a brief introduction to GAP, recommend that they work through

some initial segment of the first chapter of the GAP manual 'About

GAP' (which in fact has been written with the intention to allow

to get some aquaintance without reading all the 1200+ pages of the

manual), and then with each exercise they get a few hints which GAP

functions might be helpful. It is left to them to read in the manual

the description of those specific functions.

Sorry for not being able to offer better organised files,

unfortunately to prepare such takes time. Hope that the hints are

nevertheless useful.

with kind regards Joachim Neubueser

---------------------------------------------------------------------- Prof. J. Neubueser Lehrstuhl D fuer Mathematik RWTH Aachen Templergraben 64 D 52062 Aachen Germany

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