> < ^ Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1993 14:30:00 -0600
< ^ From: Peter Webb <webb@math.umn.edu >
^ Subject: GAP exercises used in teaching group theory

Dear GAP Forum,

I have just finished teaching the first quarter of a graduate level
course in group theory at the University of Minnesota, using GAP
as part of the instruction. I have now written up the exercises I
used to illustrate GAP in the form of a plain TeX file which I
am happy to send by email to anyone who requests it. If you would
like this file, please send me a message at


The students came to this course have already taken a general
algebra course, so that they had seen Sylow's theorems, the
structure of finitely generated abelian groups and the Jordan-Hoelder
theorem, for example. I decided that the class should meet once a
week in the computer room, and twice a week in a normal classroom,
when theory would be taught. To some extent the course I then taught
was like two courses running simultaneously, in that the emphasis in the
computer part was sometimes quite different in the GAP part and
the theory part. This was actually an advantage in that it provided a
diversity of things to do, which made it more interesting for the
students. My overall impression was that the use of GAP contributed
strongly to the success of the class. It provided examples of groups
discussed also from a theoretical angle, and at the same time the
theory provided the justification for the things the computer was
doing. This appraoch seemed to work very well, and I really would
recommend it.

Peter Webb
School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN 55455

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