A crash course on group theory

I have just finished a crash course on group theory at Universidade de Lisboa. The notes are here.

From the preface:

On a visit to Universidade de Lisboa in November 2016, I was asked to give a “crash course” in group theory. The only specifications were that the course should cover both finite and infinite groups and should be accessible to students.

This is a tall order. I have tried to meet it by starting at the beginning, moving fairly fast, omitting many proofs (this means leaving many proofs to the reader). But I hope the result is still of some use, so I am making the notes of the course available.

There is a clear focus in the chapter on finite groups: we want to be able to describe them all. The Jordan–Hölder theorem reduces the problem to describing the finite simple groups and how general groups are built out of simple groups: the Classification of Finite Simple Groups solves the first part; a discussion of groups of prime power order shows that we cannot expect a nice solution to the second.

For infinite groups, such a focus is much more difficult to obtain. There is no general theory of infinite groups, and group theorists have imposed various finiteness conditions on their groups. I discuss, somewhat in the manner of a tourist guide, free groups, presentations of groups, periodic and locally finite groups, residually finite and profinite groups, and my own interest, oligomorphic permutation groups.

I thank the students for their interest and their questions.

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About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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One Response to A crash course on group theory

  1. Thanks dear professor for this sharing. I will study it asap.

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