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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

webb@math.umn.edu

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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