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MATH 411 EXAM I

This exam is worth 100 points, with each problem worth 20 points. Please complete
Problem 1 and then any four of the remaining problems. There are problems on both sides
of the paper. Unless indicated, you must justify your answer to receive credit for a solution.
When submitting your exam, please indicate which problems you want graded by writing
them in the upper right corner on the cover of your exam booklet. You must select exactly
four problems; any unselected problems will not be graded, and if you select more than four
only the first four (in numerical order) will be graded.
(1) Please classify the following statements as True or False. Write out the word completely; do not simply write T or F. There is no partial credit for this problem, and
it is not necessary to show your work for this problem.
Note that for a statement to be True, it must be true exactly as written and for all
cases. To be False, there needs to be only one example showing that the statement
is false. A statement that is true most of the time, except sometimes is false in
mathematics.
(a) A binary operation on a set S is called associative if (a b) c = a (b c)
for all a, b, c S. Answer: True
(b) A cyclic group is abelian. Answer: True
(c) If , Sn are two different cycles that are not disjoint, then 6= .
Answer: False: (123) and (132) commute with each other in S3 . The secret
to finding this example is revealed by (b). Since any cyclic group is abelian,
we can take the cyclic subgroup generated by any element Sn to get an
abelian subgroup. If is a cycle itself, then certainly the powers k will not be
given by cycles that are disjoint for different k.
(d) A 2 2 matrix M with entries in ZN is invertible if and only if det M U (N ).
Answer: True. The condition for something mod N to be invertible with
respect to multiplication is that it lie in U (N ), not that it is nonzero.
(e) If G is a finite cyclic group and |G| = n, then G has n 1 distinct generators.
Answer: False, there are (n) distinct generators, which in general is not the
same as n 1.
(2) Let G = GL2 (Z6 ). Find the orders of the following three matrices in G:






5 0
0 1
1 2
(a)
(b)
(c)
0 5
5 0
0 1
Answer: To do this start taking powers (the group operation here is matrix multiplication, not matrix addition, as indicated by the use of GL instead of M ). The
first has order 2, the second 4 (in fact its square is (a)), and the third 3.
(3) Let G = hai, where |a| = 20.
Date: Thursday, 12 March 2009.

(a) How many different generators does G have? Find all the generators of G in
terms of a. Answer: There are (20) = 8 generators, given by as with s
relatively prime to 20. So the generators are
a, a3 , a7 , a9 , a11 , a13 , a17 , a19 .
(b) How many different subgroups does G have? Draw the subgroup lattice for
G. Answer: There is a subgroup for each of the divisors of 20, namely
1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20. If d is a divisor, then we have a subgroup hdi. In the subgroup lattice, we should have an edge going up from hdi to hd0 i (indicating that
the first is a subgroup of the second) if d is divisible by d0 .
(4) (a) What is the order of D5 ? Answer: 10
(b) Find the orders of all the elements of D5 . Answer: There are four of order 5
(the rotations), five of order 2 (the flips), and one of order 1 (identity).
(c) Find all cyclic subgroups of D5 . Answer: There is one subgroup of order 5,
consisting of all the rotations, and five different ones of order 2. These last five
have the form {e, } where is any flip.
(5) This problem is about the dihedral group D4 . As in class, let be the flip that
exchanges vertices 1 and 2, and let be the rotation that takes vertex 1 to 4.
(a) Let H D4 be the subgroup {e, }. Find the left cosets of H in D4 . Answer:
Write D4 as {e, , 2 , 3 , , , 2 , 3 }. There are four cosets of H: H =
{e, }, H = {, }, 2 H = {2 , 2 }, 3 H = {3 , 3 }.
(b) Do the same for the subgroup H 0 = {e, 2 }. Answer: Again there are four:
H 0 = {e, 2 }, H 0 = {, 3 }, H 0 = {, 2 }, H 0 = {, 3 }. (Remember
that in the dihedral group Dn we can do computations using the identity
nk = k .)
(6) Let G be a group and let H be a subgroup of G. Define a subset N G by
N = {g G | ghg 1 H for all h H}.
(a) Show that the identity is in N . Answer: Follows from ehe1 = h H.
(b) Show that if g N , then g 1 N . Answer: The definition of N above has
a mistake in it that makes this part very hard. The correct definition is that
N consists of all g such that gHg 1 = H. Using the correct defintion, we see
that g 1 Hg = H by multiplying on the left by g 1 and the right by g. I added
5 points to everyones score because of this mistake.
(c) Show that if g1 , g2 N , then g1 g2 N . (These three parts show that N
is a subgroup of G.) Answer: (g1 g2 )h(g1 g2 )1 = g1 (g2 hg21 )g11 . Now for
any h H we know g2 hg21 H since g2 N , so lets call it h0 . But then
g1 h0 g11 H since g1 N . Remark: If G is assumed finite, then we can use
this result we can do part (b) of the problem even with the bogus definition.
(d) Show that if G is abelian, then N = G for any subgroup H. Answer: If G is
abelian, then ghg 1 = gg 1 h = h, so anything in G is in N .
(7) (a) Let = (1354), = (1346), = (562) S6 . Write as a product of disjoint
cycles. Answer: (153)(246) (Dont forget that we read right to left when
multiplying cycles.)

(b) Compute the order of . Answer: The order is the least common multiple
of the orders of the factors in the disjoint cycle decomposition, and a k-cycle
always has order k. Thus the order of is 3.
(8) Show that Sn has order 2 if and only if is a product of disjoint 2-cycles.
Answer: To compute the order of we first write it in disjoint cycle notation
= 1 k . If i is an mi -cycle, then the order of i is mi . The order of is then
the LCM of the mi . But the only way the LCM of a set of positive integers can be
2 is if each is either 1 or 2.
(9) A tetrahedron is a triangular pyramid with all faces equilateral triangles (Figure 1).
Let G be the symmetry group of a labelled regular tetrahedron. In other words, G
consists of all rigid motions in three dimensions that take the tetrahedron back to
itself, with the labels shuffled.

1
4

2
3
Figure 1. A regular tetrahedron
(a) Find the order of G. Answer: Consider what the bottom of the tetrahedron
looks like after we move it. There are four possible triangles that could be there,
and each could be in one of three possible positions. Thus |G| = 4 3 = 12.
(b) Find an element in G of order 3 and one of order 2. Answer: An element a
of order 3 is a 120 rotation about an axis through 1 and through the center
of the bottom face. An element b of order 2 is a 180 rotation through the
axis that goes between the midpoints of the edges 12 and 34. (The element
b is somewhat tricky to visualize without having a 3D tetrahedron in front of
you, but you can also understand it by thinking about what the possible label
arrangements are after moving the object around.)
(c) Is G abelian? Answer: No, in fact if a and b are the elements from (b), then
ab 6= ba.