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Seeing Symmetry

Frank A. Farris, with Saewon Eum '13

Related content:

Seeing Mathematics
Frank Farris
November 9, 2011


Frank A. Farris Biography

    Morphing p6 Pattern

Frank A. Farris
Morphing p6 Pattern, based on "Kaiser Peach", 2012
Ink jet on fabric

The word symmetry may evoke bilateral symmetry, as in an idealized human face or the two wings of a butterfly. For mathematicians, the concept is richer, ranging from the patterns of wallpaper to the symmetries of a molecule or crystal.

Indeed, the concept of symmetry is central to students’ first experiences in the field of abstract algebra, where symmetry is used to illustrate the idea of a group. For mathematicians, group is a technical notion that may be best approached through examples, like the ones offered here.

This collection of images offers a way to learn more about symmetry
and the group concept. Of course, some visitors will prefer simply to
look and enjoy a workout of the visual cortex.
Kaiser Peach








"Kaiser Peach" photograph by Frank A. Farris