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Thursday, April 19, 2012

M336 Groups and Geometry

Thirty point Open University courses consist of four blocks, where the sixty pointers have eight. M336 Groups and Geometry is a four block course. Since there are two inter-related but independent tracks it doesn't feel like an ordinary 30 point course, somewhat heavier in fact. The geometry course roughly discusses one topic per block:
Block 1: Frieze groups
Block 2: Tilings
Block 3: 2D-Lattices and wallpaper groups
Block 4: 3D-Lattices.

See this previous post about block1 and frieze groups.

I am almost done with block 2 but I am still struggling with tilings ( TMA02 question 4 ). In the meantime I have coded a nice Mathematica pattern editor, ( which I hope will form the base for a Wallpaper Group editor and generator ).

Click to enlarge.

Programming Mathematica is easy and fast, that is: after you have wrestled yourself through the rather steep learning curve. An advanced topic in Mathematica ( i.e. chapter 15 in the Cookbook ) is the programming with DynamicModules and Manipulate. It turns out that, even as a GUI, Mathematica seems to have no limitations to what is possible. In order to code the pattern editor I had to crash myself through Manipulate for which I received invaluable help from the Mathematica experts community at Mathematica StackExchange. Thank you very much!

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