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 son Joshua is currently in year 11 preparing for the HSC. Josh was doing reasonably well in mathematics and yet we felt, and his teachers agreed, that if he really applied himself he could be achieving much better results. We asked around for a maths tutor and Graeme Henderson came highly recommended. Joshua began to see Mr Henderson one hour per week and from the very first week Joshua’s motivation escalated. His maths improved to the point where he is now often achieving 100% in his exams, he applies himself to do hours of homework, something he had rarely done in the past, but most of all Josh has found a love of mathematics. Maths is no longer a chore. I believe this all stems from Mr Henderson’s gifted ability not only as a teacher, also as an encourager and motivator. I get motivated just listening to them! Josh told us this week that he wishes he could be tutored every day after school. When the results come through from Joshua’s exams, he is delighted and this has inspired him to become motivated to spend much more time applying himself to his other subjects. Josh is working hard to gain a great result in his HSC. I can personally recommend Mr Henderson as a truly wonderful tutor.

Deborah B (Parent, 2012)

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