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We all encounter symmetry in our everyday lives, in both natural and man-made structures. The mathematical concepts surrounding symmetry can be a bit more difficult to grasp. This free course, Symmetry, explains such concepts as direct and indirect symmetries, Cayley tables and groups through exercises, audio and video.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain what is meant by a symmetry of a plane figure
  • specify symmetries of a bounded plane figure as rotations or reflections
  • describe some properties of the set of symmetries of a plane figure
  • explain the difference between direct and indirect symmetries
  • use a two-line symbol to represent a symmetry.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 20 hours
  • Updated Monday 22nd February 2016
  • Intermediate level
  • Posted under Mathematics
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Unit image

In this course we use the geometric concept of symmetry to introduce some of the basic ideas of group theory, including group tables, and the four properties, or axioms, that define a group.

Please note that this course is presented through a series of PDF documents.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open Unviersity course M208: Pure Mathematics [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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