# Tagged Questions

The study of algebraic structures and properties applying to large classes of such structures. For example, ideas from group theory and ring theory are extended and considered for structures with other signatures (systems of basic or fundamental operations).

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### In (relatively) simple words: What is an inverse limit?

I am a set theorist in my orientation, and while I did take a few courses that brushed upon categorical and algebraic constructions, one has always eluded me. The inverse limit. I tried to ask one of ...
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### Simple explanation of a monad

I have been learning some functional programming recently and I so I have come across monads. I understand what they are in programming terms, but I would like to understand what they are ...
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### A structural proof that $ax=xa$ forms a monoid

During the discussion on this problem I found the following simple observation: If $M$ is a monoid and $a \in M$ then $\{x: ax = xa\}$ is a submonoid. This is trivial to prove by checking ...
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### Why are particular combinations of algebraic properties “richer” than others?

Pedagogically, when students are exposed to algebraic structures it seems standard for the major emphasis, if not all the emphasis, to be on groups, rings, R-modules, and categories. These are rich ...
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### Category Theory vs. Universal Algebra - Any References?

After seeing the answer to the question Category theory, a branch of abstract algebra, I would like to ask Are there literature discussing the difference/indifference/comparison between category ...
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### Embeddings $A → B → A$, but $A \not\cong B$?

Are there any nice examples of structures (groups, modules, rings, fields) $A$ and $B$ such that there are embeddings $A → B → A$ while $A \not\cong B$? I would especially like to see an example for ...
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### Why do free monoids have a “trivial” automorphism group and free groups don't?

Let $X$ be a set and $M$ the free monoid over $X$. Then an automorphism $f$ of $M$ satisfies $f(X)=X$ and so $\text{Aut}(M)$ is canonically isomorphic to $\mathfrak{S}_X$. My Proof: For every word ...
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### Is there a concept of a “free Hilbert space on a set”?

I am looking for a "good" definition of a Hilbert space with a distinct orthonormal basis (in the Hilbert space sense) such that each basis element corresponds to an element of a given set $X$. Before ...
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### Aside from the obvious stuff, do the partial functions that solve the quadratic equation have any interesting properties?

Let us define partial functions $$f_+,f_- : \mathbb{R} \leftarrow \mathbb{R} \times \mathbb{R} \times \mathbb{R}$$ so as to return the zeros of the quadratic $ax^2+bx+c$ whenever they exist, such ...
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### Are isomorphic structures really indistinguishable?

I always believed that in two isomorphic structures what you could tell for the one you would tell for the other... is this true? I mean, I've heard about structures that are isomorphic but different ...
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### Suggestions for a learning roadmap for universal algebra?

I think a useful combination of resources for universal algebra would ideally, when taken together: Provide ample motivation behind the various developments in the field. Either provide powerful ...
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### What kind of object is the kernel of a ring homomorphism?

The category $\mathbf{Grp}$ of groups has a zero object, namely the trivial group $1$. Since $\mathbf{Grp}$ is furthermore complete, we have the notion of a kernel of a group homomorphism. The kernel ...
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### Combinatorics of term algebras

My question is about the number of terms of size $n$ in term algebras for an arbitrary (finite) signature. A signature is a map $\Sigma : S \rightarrow \mathbb{N}$ from a set $S$ of symbols. We ...
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### In which algebraic theories do 'free' and 'projective' coincide?

Free models of algebraic theories are always projective objects in the category of models, but the converse is not always true. For instance, some (actually, all) projective modules are direct ...
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### Difference between abstract algebra and universal algebra

Wikipedia give this answer "Universal algebra (sometimes called general algebra) is the field of mathematics that studies algebraic structures themselves, not examples ("models") of algebraic ...
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### Different ways of constructing the free group over a set.

This could be too broad if we're not careful. I'm sorry if it ends up that way. Let's put together a list of different constructions of the free group $F_X$ over a given set $X$. It seems to be ...
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### An exercise in infinite combinatorics from Burris and Sankappanavar

Exercise 6.7 in chapter IV of Burris and Sankappanavar's A Course in Universal Algebra starts as follows: Show that for $I$ countably infinite there is a subset $S$ of the set of functions from ...
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### What equational properties of a group only need to be checked on a generating set?

Let $G$ be a group and $S\subset G$ a generating set. Let $P$ (short for $P(x_1,\dots,x_n) = 1$) be an equational property that may or may not be satisfied by all $n$-tuples of elements of $G$. My ...
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### In a slice category C/A of a category C over a given object A, What is the role of the identity morphism of A in C with respect to C/A

In a slice category $C/A$ of a category $C$ over a given object $A$, what is the role of the $C$ identity morphism, $A\to A$ ($1_A$), in $C/A$, particularly with respect to composition? I ...
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### What is the importance of “variety of algebras” in Universal Algebra?

Given an algebraic category, Birkhoff's Variety Theorem gives a categorical characterization of the full subcategories whose object-class forms a variety (i.e. can be defined by equations in the sense ...
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### Distributor? Distributive analog of commutator and associator?

Motivation: "the commutator gives an indication of the extent to which a certain binary operation fails to be commutative" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commutator). For example (courtesy of ...
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### This is just the Eilenberg-Moore category, right?

Let $F$ denote a monad on $\mathbf{Set}$. Write $\mathbf{Set}_F$ for the corresponding Kleisli category and $\mathbf{Set}^F$ for the Eilenberg-Moore category. On the train home today, it occured to me ...
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### $\mathbf{N}_5$ as a congruence lattice

A finite lattice is said to be representable if there exists a finite algebra whose congruence lattice is isomorphic to that lattice. As I was reading a paper, I came across the line: "The reader can ...
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### Software for some universal algebra issues

I am looking for some mathematical software that can help me with a very common task in the realm of universal algebra (as far as I know programs like prover9/mace4 and uacalc do not help with this ...
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### Classification of Finite Topologies

Does there exist a classification of finite topologies? I define a finite topology as a finite Set $T$ of Sets which respects the following properties: $\forall a,b \in T: a \cap b \in T$, ...
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### Is the existence of finite biproducts a strengthening of commutativity?

Let $T$ denote a monosorted Lawvere theory (call its distinguished object $G$) equipped with a distinguished constant $0 : G \leftarrow 1$ that is "idempotent" in the following sense: for all arrows ...
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### Using the compactness theorem to disprove axiomatizability

Another model-theoretic exercise from Smirnov's book. Problem: Construct infinite family of varieties such that their union is not axiomatizable. My solution: Denote by $\mathcal{A}_n$ the variety ...
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### Any commutative associative operation can be extended to a function on nonempty finite sets

This is a fact we use very frequently in general mathematics when we write such notations as $1+2+3+4$: since we know that $+$ is commutative and associative, we can just "drop the parentheses" and ...
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### Is it possible to delete undesired identifications in algebraic structures?

In algebraic topology, there is a notion of covering space, which essentially "de-identifies" points that look the same but which for certain purposes really shouldn't be considered the same. I was ...
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### Lattices are congruence-distributive

$\newcommand{\r}[1]{\mathrel{#1}}$ First, a few definitions. Given a lattice $L$, a congruence on $L$ is an equivalence relation $\theta$, compatible with the lattice operations, i.e. if ...
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### Obtaining a binary operation on $X \rightarrow Y$ from a binary operation on $Y$. What, if anything, to make of this observation?

Let $X$ and $Y$ denote sets. Then if $+$ is a binary operation on $Y$, then we can obtain a new binary operation $+'$ on $Y^X$ in a canonical way as follows. $$(f+' g)(x) = f(x)+g(x)$$ Question. The ...
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### Are pseudoheaps and heaps the same thing?

An exercise in a category textbook asked me to show that the category of pointed heaps and the category of groups are isomorphic. But my proof somehow didn't use the most unintuitive of the defining ...
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### Binomial rings closed under colimits?

A binomial ring is a ring (for the purposes of this question all rings are commutative and unital) which is torsion-free and has, for each $n$, a binomial function $\binom{x}{n}$ satisfying ...
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### Most general form of Cayley's theorem?

For many classes of algebraic structures, there exists a family of structures such that any member of the class can be embedded in some member of the family (groups and symmetric groups, unital rings ...
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### What is the most expressive logic such that presentations of algebraic structures “work”?

I feel like this is one of the best questions I've asked in a while. Hope you enjoy it. In my opinion, one of the most important ideas in modern algebra is the idea that we can present algebraic ...
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### Stone duality for ideals and filters (exercise)

In A Course in Universal Algebra (Burris, Sankapannavar), the exercise 4.4.7-8, p.158, says: Let $A$ be a Boolean algebra. Denote $A^\ast:=\{\text{ultrafilters of }A\}$, and give $A^\ast$ the ...
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### No simplifying identities for any single nonzero number under addition.

Consider the structure $(\mathbb{R}, +, r)$, where r is a nonzero real number. Are the commutative and associative identities already sufficient to derive all universally valid equations in that ...
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### Does a power-complete finite pasture exist?

Suppose we define a pasture to be an algebraic structure $\langle M, 0, +, \times, \wedge \rangle$ where $\langle M, 0, +, \times \rangle$ is a ring (not necessarily commutative or unital) $\wedge$ ...
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### The function $f(x)=(x\vee a)\wedge b$ in a lattice.

Is there an algebraic modular lattice $(X,\vee,\wedge)$ and $a,b\in X$ with $a\le b$ such that the function $$f:X\to X$$ $$f(x)=(x\vee a)\wedge b$$ is not $\vee$-homomorphism?
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### The “closed” subspaces of topological algebraic structures

Every set-theoretic model of an algebraic theory gives rise to notion of (algebraically) "closed subset" in a canonical fashion; namely, the closed subsets are those that cannot be escaped via the ...