Multiplicative Ideal Theory/Commutative Ring Theory Help Desk

Trying to read an article on a topic in commutative ring theory and you come across a statement that you cannot figure out, or you come up with a question and there seems to be no adequate book, close by, that would answer your question. (Or you know of a book but you do not know where to look in the book.) If that happens there is a fair chance that your problem is to do with Multiplicative Ideal Theory, as it is a rapidly growing branch of commutative ring theory. This, in our opinion, keeps a lot of inquisitive minds from enjoying (and from contributing to) this beautiful area of Mathematics.

Our answer to this situation is to start a help desk. Ask away your question in complete confidence, we would allot a serial number to your question and display it. Anyone can answer that question. A panel of experts will then examine the answer, and if correct and appropriate, it will be displayed in front of your question. The word “appropriate” is important in the previous sentence. We take it to mean that the answer should be as free of jargon and as simple as possible. If your question turns out to be a good one, or an open question, we would then approach you to see if we can make your name public. (The answers that you submit will be treated in the same manner.) Do not worry if you think your question is to do with some other area of commutative ring theory, we would get the right experts to take a look at your question. To send a question, type it up preferably in Tex and e-mail it to: If writing in Tex is not possible, then use word-processing software, or write legibly, scan the document and send it to the above-mentioned e-mail address. 

Before asking the question however, it would be appropriate to check if a similar question has already been answered. Click on the appropriate highlighted area to get to the Questions Posted, and Questions and answers. (If you have a better answer please feel free to contribute.)

 Click here for Questions Posted

Current list of Help Desk Volunteers: (We need more of them and in all areas of Commutative ring theory.) You may send your query to  

  1. Professor Daniel D. Anderson, D.O.Math., University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.
  2. Professor David F. Anderson, D.O.Math.,University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1300, USA.   
  3. Professor James Coykendall, D.O.Math., North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105-5075, USA  
  4. Professor Tiberiu Dumitrescu, Facultatea de Matematica si Informatica, University of Bucharest, Romania
  5. Professor Marco Fontana, Dip.di Mat., Universita degli Study Roma Tre, Largo San Leonardo Murialdo,1, 00146 Roma, Italy.
  6. Professor Evan Houston, D.O.Math., University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA  
  7. Professor Salah-Eddine Kabbaj, Department of Mathematics, P.O. Box 5046, KFUPM, Dhahran 31261, SAUDI ARABIA  
  8. Professor Bruce Olberding, Department of Mathematics, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces NM 88003
  9. Muhammad Zafrullah (If you need to send something to me by snail mail send me an e-mail at I will give you my address.)

Last Updated: June 21, 2003