This course uses the idea of symmetry as an invitation to explore contemporary mathematics. The roots of the mathematics of symmetry extend back to ancient times, and the current mathematical expression of symmetry was first developed in the early 19th century. The course explores both the history and mathematics of this development and traces where the key ideas have led from there, both mathematically and culturally. Emphasis is placed on how mathematics is discovered and how it fits into broader cultural contexts (including the work of M.C. Escher, fractals, and symmetry in fields other than mathematics).
Prerequisites: Admission to the Honors Program.