ABSTRACT ALGEBRA and I
From the beginning of my mathematics career, I knew Abstract Algebra was going to be a challenging class. The first day of Abstract Algebra, the professor said “you will live, breath, and speak mathematics – if you sleep eight hours now, plan on sleeping four hours”. I took what he said literally and planned to devote a lot of time to studying. For my spring 2009 semester at SUNY New Paltz, I woke up every morning at dawn to study (and to get a good parking spot).
As it turned out, Abstract Algebra was one of my favorite classes. The class itself kept me intrigued and I did begin to live, breath, and speak mathematics. Some of the proofs would take days of pondering. Some of the ideas would even come to me in my sleep. And when I would finally figure it out, it was an awesome feeling.
I spent many early hours and late evenings studying on campus. It was important to keep a clear head to be able to focus on the proof at hand. It was also important to have the motivation to learn. Everyone in the Math Department was very supportive. A solution was never just given away; you had to work for it. That’s what makes it all worth it in the end.
--Dawn Russell, a Mathematics Adolescence Education major
Dawn Russell received an A in the course, and is finishing her student teaching semester. She will graduate summa cum laude.