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Uniformity is undesirable. Symmetry is immanent.

By May 9, 2010blog

In everything…uniformity is undesirable. Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting, and gives the feeling that there is room for growth…Even when building the imperial palace, they always leave one place unfinished.—Japanese Essays in Idleness via Marcus du Sautoy

Sautoy opens with a vignette on Galois‘s quest to revolutionize mathematics the night before he died in a duel at the age of 20. He continues with an illumination of Galois theory in layman’s terms, with visual illustrations of the following concepts:

  • symmetry groups
  • non-commutative algebras
  • cayley tables
  • common algebraic structures behind disparate-looking art from Alhambra

One of the problems of our school mathematics is…it doesn’t look at how mathematics is embedded into the world we live in.—Marcus du Sautoy

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