Problem number one goes like this: determine, in cycle form (eng?), a σ є S10 with maximal order, in other words so that the order of σ is greater than the order of any other permutation in S10. State this order, too.

Is there any systematic method of doing this or is trying different combinations the only way?

The second problem: Let π denote that permutation on the set {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7} which can be described with the product

π = (1 2 3 4 5) (1 7 6 5) (1 3 5 7)

a) Write π as a product of disjunct cycles.

b) Is π an odd or even function?

I would go about solving a) like this: write the cycles of π in one-row form (eng?) from right to left. Then, write [1 2 3 4 5 6 7] at the top and the final result at the bottom

(which is [4 3 2 5 6 1 7]) and figure out the transpositions. But the solution is completely different: (1 4 5 6) (2 3) (7). How did they get that answer? Also, I figure that I haven't understood what a disjunct cycle is. Is it when you write the cycle form like (a b c) (d e)? But isn't that always the way to do it?

For b) the solution is what I tried to do in a) and count the number of transpositions. The answer they state is (1 6) (1 5) (1 4) (2 3). Is there a simple way to get this answer or do I have to write a long list with a bubble sort from top to bottom?

Grateful for answers!