Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ian Wanless


Rings, fields, ideals, algebraic extension fields. Coding theory and cryptographic applications of finite fields. Gaussian integers, Hamilton's quaternions, Chinese Remainder Theorem. Euclidean Algorithm in further fields.


At the completion of this unit, students will be able to demonstrate understanding of advanced concepts, algorithms and results in number theory; the use of Gaussian integers to find the primes expressible as a sum of squares, Diophantine equations, primitive roots; the quaternions, the best known skew field; many of the links between algebra and number theory; the most commonly occurring rings and fields: integers, integers modulo n, rationals, reals and complex numbers, more general structures such as algebraic number fields, algebraic integers and finite fields; and will have developed skills in the use of the Chinese Remainder Theorem to represent integers by their remainders; performing calculations in the algebra of polynomials; the use of the Euclidean algorithm in structures other than integers; constructing larger fields from smaller fields (field extensions); applying field theory to coding and cryptography.


Examination (3 hours): 70%
Assignments and tests: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Ian Wanless

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and an average of one 1-hour support class per week


MTH2121 or MTH3121