This text uses the concepts usually taught in the first semester of a modern abstract algebra course to illuminate classical number theory: theorems on primitive roots, quadratic Diophantine equations, and the Fermat conjecture for exponents three and four. The text contains abundant numerical examples and a particularly helpful collection of exercises, many of which are small research problems requiring substantial study or outside reading. Some problems call for new proofs for theorems already covered or for inductive explorations and proofs of theorems found in later chapters. Ethan D. Bolker teaches mathematics and computer science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
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