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This book is an informal and readable introduction to higher algebra at the post-calculus level. The concepts of ring and field are introduced through study of the familiar examples of the integers and polynomials. The new examples and theory are built in a well-motivated fashion and made relevant by many applications - to cryptography, coding, integration, history of mathematics, and especially to elementary and computational number theory. The later chapters include expositions of Rabiin's probabilistic primality test, quadratic reciprocity, and the classification of finite fields. Over 900 exercises are found throughout the book.