



MATH S152 The Mathematics of Symmetry
Thomas W. Judson PhD Preceptor in Mathematics Harvard University
Location: Science Center 109  Meeting time: T,Th 3:306 pm  CRN: 31731 
An introduction to finite groups, finite fields, finite geometry, discrete probability, and graph theory. A unifying theme of the course is the symmetry group of the regular icosahedron, whose elements can be realized as permutations, as linear transformations of vector spaces over finite fields, as collineations of a finite plane, or as vertices of a graph. Taught in a seminar format, students gain experience in presenting proofs at the blackboard. Students have the opportunity to implement some of the key mathematical ideas of the course in C++, but computer work is optional. Prerequisites: Elementary knowledge of vectors, 2x2 matrices, and determinants. MATH S21b, taken previously or concurrently, would be ideal. Calculus is not required. Placement test recommended. 

