About the content
[IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE NO-CREDIT ON-DEMAND VERSION OF THIS COURSE PLEASE GO TO https://www.coursera.org/learn/symmetry]. 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 by submitting and authenticating at least 8 out of the 9 assignments 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 (https://www.coursera.org/about/terms/honorcode and http://www.ntu.edu.sg/SAO/Pages/HonourCode.aspx). 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 22 January 2016, 2359 hrs) in accordance with NTU rules.
The course content is
released in two week blocks and consists of approximately 1 hr of
lectures and tutorials per week. There are specific windows for uploading
homework and undertaking peer-to-peer marking. These are detailed in the downloadable course timetable.
Part I: Basic Concepts of Symmetry
- Week 1: ‘A World of Symmetry’ will refresh your intuitive
appreciation of symmetry in furniture, botany and common objects and introduce
the mathematics of point symmetry.
- Week 2: ‘Tiling and the Asymmetric Unit’ begins by examining tessellations in architecture that will illustrate key concepts in plane symmetry including the asymmetric unit. ‘Chirality’ discusses this key concept in symmetry and its impact on drug design and delivery.
Part II: Plane (2D) and Space (3D) Symmetry
- Week 3: ‘Escher and Graphic Design’ introduces symmetry operations in 2 dimensions
and the difference between ‘primitive’ and ‘centered’ unit cells are illustrated
using the art of Escher. ‘Nets’ examines the role of symmetry in Islamic
architecture and history in the context of regular networks.
- Week 4: ‘Space Symmetry’ expands the symmetry operations to include 3 dimensional motion. The methodology for reading and using the symmetry diagrams of the 17 plane groups and 230 space groups is introduced.
Part III: Symmetry in Crystals
- Week 5: ‘Crystal Forms and the Beauty of Minerals’ looks the external shape of
mineral crystals and we learn about crystal power by visiting a geomancer. The manner in which crystal faceting
reflects the internal atomic arrangements is described. ‘Planes, Directions and Unit Cell’ introduces the mathematics
for describing perfect crystal structures.
- Week 6: ‘Platonic Solids and Atomic Bonding’ shows that regular geometrical shapes can be derived from folding plane nets into polyhedra that often describe atomic clustering and also the appearance of defects or asymmetry that are important aesthetically and technologically. A laboratory tour will show the experiments used to extract crystallographic information.
Part IV: Symmetry and Technology
- Week 7: ‘Tailoring Crystals for Technology’ brings together chemistry and
crystallography, shows how they are inter-related, and how they are adapted to
engineer designer technological materials.
A clean room fabrication facility provides real world context for
exploiting chemically- and physically-driven symmetry.
- Week 8: ‘Looking for Broken Symmetry - Atomic Scale Imaging’ looks beyond 3 dimensional symmetry to higher dimensional repetitions found in incommensurate crystal structures. ‘Deceptive Perception - Symmetry & Furniture Design’ returns to the everyday appearance of symmetry that can now be explored analytically.
At the conclusion of this study, you will
possess the tools and the motivation to look at symmetry with even greater
delight, wonder and appreciation!
- Tim White - School of Materials Science & Engineering
- - School of Materials Science & Engineering
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