I can't think of any topic in abstract algebra that doesn't have a tag in itself.

When should the abstract algebra tag be used ?

To give at least one example, we do not have tag for loops and we have some questions, where they are mentioned: 10475 and 11542. The magma tag is not that old, so before we introduced this tag, magmas would have been another example. –  Martin Sleziak Nov 20 '12 at 17:11
I've always thought it was there for people who are studying a first course in abstract algebra: they just use the tag which is the name of their course, not the actual thing they are studying. –  user1729 Nov 21 '12 at 14:49

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It's probably more common for users to follow a handful of general tags rather than lots of specific ones, at least when they're new. (This was certainly true for me). So this is one possible reason for having a general tag like abstract algebra on a question, as well as maybe some more specific ones.

I do follow "subtags" of abstract algebra if I notice an interesting question that didn't have the more general tag as well, but it's probable that a lot of these questions entirely slip past me.

This seems very reasonable –  Belgi Nov 21 '12 at 13:11

When one is too lazy to look up the more specific tags. /rimshot

All kidding aside, I see that tag as largely a vestige of the old days when it was only important to differentiate between algebra and algebra. But every now and then you do get questions like this and this which don't really want any of the more specific tags.

Yes, but both can be tagged as self-study. Can you give an example when something in abstract algebra (and not on abstract algebra) was asked and there wasn't a more suited tag ? –  Belgi Nov 20 '12 at 16:56
@Belgi, sure, those could be tagged self-study, but don't you think it would be better if they carried both the self-study tag and the abstract-algebra tag? –  Gerry Myerson Nov 20 '12 at 23:48
@GerryMyerson - I agree with you. this makes the search a lot easier! –  Belgi Nov 21 '12 at 13:10

The wiki on the sub-tags suggest using with . I guess the reason to use whenever using , etc. would be to make searching easier.

What's on the Wiki ? "Abstract algebra is a study of algebraic objects. Some of the more common algebraic objects are Groups, Rings, Fields, Vector spaces, Modules, and other advanced topics." and we do have tags for all of those (maybe in the more advance topics there something that isn't, but I never saw one...) –  Belgi Nov 20 '12 at 15:51
@Belgi: It's on the wiki-excerpt. To see the excerpt click on the show excerpt link at the bottom of one of the wikis. Perhaps this should be added to the wiki as well. –  robjohn Nov 20 '12 at 15:55
thanks, I didn't know there was extra info there! –  Belgi Nov 21 '12 at 13:10

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