Jan 11th 2016

An Exploration of Symmetry (Eligible for NTU Credit) (Coursera)

Taught by:

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. The level of difficulty is intermediate-to-hard with a workload is 7-10 hrs/week. This MOOC is for credit and students who obtain a Verified Certificate with an overall mark of more than 60% earn 3 Academic Units (AU) that can be directed towards either an Unrestricted Elective (UE) or General Elective (GE-STS) subject at NTU. The usual NTU examination procedure requires student identification through webcam plus keystroke patterning for each assignment submission with a no-tolerance policy towards cheating. Students who are found to cheat, tamper with or falsify grades, or collude on assignments will be denied credits. It is not necessary to be enrolled at NTU to be awarded 3 AU and once received the AU remain valid 3 years. Because this is a for-credit course students must join the Signature Track stream within the first 2 week add-drop period (up to 21 August 2015, 2359 hrs) in accordance with NTU rules.

Nanyang Technological University and Coursera are proud to offer Beauty, Form & Function: An Exploration of Symmetry that caters to both non-specialists via a non-academic credit on-demand version and specialists through this academic credit fixed-session version.

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.

Suggested Readings:
Visual Symmetry
Crystals and Crystal Structures