Skip to main content
Unit of study_

OLET1630: Symmetry

The principle of symmetry appears in architecture, in the arts, in nature. It is often understood as harmony of proportions. But what is the philosophical or mathematical significance of the idea of symmetry? This unit will help clarify this significance by developing the geometric concept of symmetry and by conveying the sensibility to recognise and categorise symmetries in different contexts. The richness, diversity, connectedness, depth and pleasure of the systematic study of symmetry, and indeed of mathematical thinking, is central to this unit. It will not involve grinding through formulas, but instead emphasise the process of thinking, comparing, analysing, understanding and inventing.

Code OLET1630
Academic unit Mathematics and Statistics Academic Operations
Credit points 2

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. appreciate and understand the scientific and philosophical method of enquiry
  • LO2. understand the symmetries of a diverse range of objects from the arts, nature, chemistry and mathematics
  • LO3. distinguish the different types of symmetries in two and three dimensions
  • LO4. interpret and understand symmetries as mappings
  • LO5. manipulate and compose symmetries and understand their structure as a mathematical group
  • LO6. have a working knowledge of different applications of symmetry and groups in a variety of contexts in science, engineering and the humanities
  • LO7. analyse problems in a team and be able to clearly communicate the findings through both written reports and oral presentations.