Self Paced

Beauty, Form & Function: An Exploration of Symmetry (Coursera)

Learn how to identify symmetrical forms and appreciate their importance in nature, art, architecture, crystallography and technology. Understand symmetry quantitatively, recognize its role in beauty and design, and appreciate its function in our everyday life.

Nanyang Technological University and Coursera are proud to offer Beauty, Form & Function: An Exploration of Symmetry as the first dual-track MOOC that caters to both specialists and non-specialists, and can lead to full academic credits.

Symmetry is everywhere. In the grand scheme of things it is the blueprint by which the universe operates. We see symmetry in nature, art, architecture, science and engineering. This course explores the Beauty, Form and Function of Symmetry in common objects, then progresses to investigate tiling and tessellation, gems and crystals, and finally its indispensable role in technology. Symmetry and asymmetry are also key factors that ensure the successful reproduction of plants and animals. For example, the bilateral symmetry of orchids is widely admired and this geometry is essential for insects to pollinate these flowers.