Module Catalogue 2020/21

MAS2705 : Complex Analysis & Algebra

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Zinaida Lykova
  • Lecturer: Dr David Stewart
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
MAS1601Introduction to Calculus
MAS1602Introductory Algebra: Complex Numbers, Vectors and Matrices
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To introduce the main results in the theory of analytic functions.

To introduce the viewpoint of modern algebra by extending the work of earlier modules and to provide a basis for further study of algebra.

Module summary
The idea of solving an equation like x^2+1 = 0, by inventing a new number to represent the square root of -1, can be traced back at least as far as Egyptian pyramid builders in 1850 BC. From the need to solve such problems the idea of complex numbers, z = x + iy, arose, and happily the rich geometric and analytic theory of these numbers allows simple and elegant solutions to otherwise difficult or insoluble problems.
The important and exciting ideas emerge when we consider functions f(z) of a complex variable z. These functions turn out to have surprising and dramatic properties that are quite unexpected, when compared with functions of real variables (the case when z is a real number). Indeed the natural view
of many common functions, for example exponential and trigonometric functions, is in the complex plane. We shall introduce elementary functions in the complex plane, study their continuity and differentiability, and then move to the extraordinary results that follow when we investigate integration.
Integration in the complex plane involves the notion of a line integral, but surprisingly, many calculations can be reduced to a simple algebraic exercise; something which is quite counter-intuitive, and a great relief to those accustomed to conventional integration of real functions! Indeed, these methods can be used to tackle, very simply, many integrals that are difficult if approached using standard methods.
The theory of complex variables, plays a crucial role in many branches of mathematics and science; for example, in algebraic geometry, number theory, complex dynamics and fractals, fluid mechanics, string theory and electrical engineering.

Modern algebra deals with sets equipped with operations resembling some or all of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. One example of such a system is a field. The concept of a field is a natural one since we have a familiar structure with two operations which mimic addition and multiplication of numbers. We study examples of finite fields. We consider polynomials defined over a field and means of determining reducibility or irreducibility in some cases. We find that polynomials over a field form a system known as a ring and we consider the possibility of factorisation in a ring. In particular we study rings consisting of complex numbers and see examples of such rings in which some numbers have more than one irreducible factorisation.

Outline Of Syllabus

Complex plane, open and closed sets, limits and continuity. Differentiability: Cauchy-Riemann relations; analytic functions; principal value. Contour integration; Cauchy’s theorem; Cauchy’s integral formula. Poles, residues, Laurent series. Cauchy’s residue theorem. Evaluation of real integrals. Laplace and Fourier transforms: evaluation, inversion.

Multiple examples of rings and fields, including polynomial rings, Zn, and complex number rings. Applications to the study of polynomials, their roots and their factorisation. Factorisation in rings.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will know the basic principles underlying the existence and differentiability of functions defined in the complex plane; they will know the 3 fundamental theorems of complex integration and how to use these to evaluate real integrals; they will have seen examples of the Fourier Transform.

Students will develop an understanding of the concepts of rings and fields. They will understand the relationship between polynomials defined over a field and the field itself. They will learn about factorisation theory in rings and see examples where unique factorisation fails.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students will be able to manipulate functions defined in the complex plane, and be able to test their differentiability; they will be able to perform some types of contour integration and use these techniques for evaluating certain real integrals.

Students will be able to perform calculations over a field. They will be able to test polynomials for reducibility in certain cases and to factorise polynomials over Zp, Q, R, and C into irreducible factors. They will be able to factorise elements of complex number rings into irreducible factors. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the possibility of non-uniqueness of factorisation in rings, as exemplified by certain complex number rings.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00Synchronous On-Line Material
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials361:0036:00Non-Synchronous Activities
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion181:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops91:009:00Present in Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Office Hour or Discussion Board Activity
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study941:0094:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Non-synchronous online materials are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on assessed work. Present-in-person and synchronous online sessions are used to help develop the students’ abilities at applying the theory to solving problems and to identify and resolve specific queries raised by students, and to allow students to receive individual feedback on marked work. Students who cannot attend a present-in-person session will be provided with an alternative activity allowing them to access the learning outcomes of that session. In addition, office hours/discussion board activity will provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer: a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.
Alternatives will be offered to students unable to be present-in-person due to the prevailing C-19 circumstances.
Student’s should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80Alternative assessment - class test
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M10written exercises
Written exercise2M10written exercises
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. The course assessments will allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; these assessments have a secondary formative purpose as well as their primary summative purpose.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.