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EASIER THAN YOU THINK...

# Transformations and Symmetry

You are now entering the officially wonderful and weird world of transformations and symmetry.  It transpires that symmetry is not only observed on the macro level (our bodies are basically symmetric to look at), but on the quantum level as well.  Symmetry plays a huge role in our understanding of how the universe functions.

The most basic forms of symmetry are reflective symmetry (or line symmetry) as shown in Scott Kim’s ambigram of the English alphabet at left, and rotational symmetry as shown in his design of the word mathematics at right (view it upside down).

I first encountered Scott Kim‘s work in OMNI magazine in the late 1970s.  I would love to show you many examples of what he does with symmetry and agree with him that this artistic skill should be included in mathematics lessons.  Please visit Scott Kim’s website and take time to read some of his blogs about mathematics and teaching (as well as seeing samples of his amazing artwork)!

Mathematicians are fascinated by symmetry and, ultimately, ask questions about symmetries that are not simply geometric.  There are symmetries in algebra and relationships in quite a few areas of mathematics.  They all have the idea of balance or of conserving something.

I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

Our daughter was tutored by Graeme as she was required to sit a maths exam, and complete a maths course, in order to attend college in the USA. Graeme came highly recommended as a brilliant tutor, and he definitely did not disappoint. As a parent of three adult children, I have accessed several tutors over the years, and none of them have come even close to being as helpful and skilful as Graeme. Our daughter, Michaela, particularly liked how Graeme could relate maths concepts to everyday situations, something that helped her immensely. Graeme has extensive knowledge in various areas of maths, and this knowledge combined with his patient, empathic manner, makes him the outstanding tutor that he is. Graeme went above and beyond what would be expected of a tutor. He was truly dedicated to our daughter’s learning and she could not have achieved her goals without him.
Gillian Q (parent, 2013)

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