About The Course
Syllabus • Grading Scheme • Recommended Readings •
Required Background • Essential Resources • Student Responsibility • FAQs
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.
Track 1: Overview (PARTS I and II)
Duration: 5 weeks
Time Commitment: 4-6 hours per week
Target Group: Teachers, artists, architects and anyone with a passion for symmetry
Recognition: Statement of Accomplishment
This Track gives you the means to address several fundamental questions.
- What tags do we recognize in
- What guidelines shape the
patterns in the world around us?
- What functions do these symmetrical patterns serve?
Track 2: Overview (PARTS I, II, III and IV)
Duration: 8 weeks
Time Commitment: 7-10 hours per week
Target Group: Scientists and Engineers (current and prospective NTU students)
Recognition: Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction
NTU Academic Units: Verified Certificate Students earn 3 Academic Units
NTU Course Type: Unrestricted Elective or General Elective
This Track explores the impact of symmetry in technology through:
- Describing crystals at the
atomic scale to understand drug and materials design
- Understanding how the internal
arrangement of atoms is reflected by crystal faceting
- Appreciating symmetry modification through polytypism, polymorphism and polysomatism.
To amplify these ideas, you will undertake field-exercises and be introduced to specialists - botanists, artists, geomancers, historians, scientists and engineers - that work with symmetry, and who will provide their personal insights into its ‘magic’ and impact on their disciplines.
Successful completion as a Verified Certificate student earns 3 academic units (AUs) for an Unrestricted Elective or General Elective subject at NTU.
The option of earning AUs is open to all students. It is not necessary to be already enrolled at NTU. Once earned, the AUs remain valid for 3 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
• SIGNATURE TRACK AUTHENTICATION IS NOT SUPPORTED ON MOBILE DEVICES such as iPhone and iPads. You can watch video lectures, participate in the forums, and save drafts of your quiz and assignment answers from a mobile device, but it is ESSENTIAL THAT HOMEWORK IS SUBMITTED FROM A DESKTOP OR LAPTOP COMPUTER to avoid problems with authentication.
• This MOOC is offered every semester and you can attempt multiple times without penalty.
9. I am an NTU student and unsure whether to take this course for credit - how much time do I have to decide?
- Track 1: Mathematics at GCE
Advanced Level or International Baccalaureate Diploma or equivalent to junior
- Track 2: In addition to the
requirements for Track 1, high school or undergraduate (freshman) chemistry is
Essential Resources Required
This is an undiluted university course and resources equivalent to an undergraduate student at NTU are essential to complete these studies. These include:
- Access to a Windows or Apple
personal computer: While lectures can be
viewed on tablets and smartphones it is not possible to run the specialized
programs on these architectures. There can
be no troubleshooting of compatibility problems.
- Access to a smartphone with
camera or a digital camera: The
field-work exercises involve photographing objects in your environment and
analysing their symmetry. Submission of these
graded exercises is essential to obtain course recognition.
- Access to Microsoft Office or Open Office: Homework must be prepared in PowerPoint or Word, converted to a pdf and uploaded.