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How to Free Your Inner MathematicianNotes on Mathematics and Life$
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Susan D'Agostino

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198843597

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843597.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 June 2020

Work efficiently, like bacteriophages with icosahedral symmetry

Work efficiently, like bacteriophages with icosahedral symmetry

(p.201) 33 Work efficiently, like bacteriophages with icosahedral symmetry
How to Free Your Inner Mathematician

Susan D'Agostino

Oxford University Press

“Work efficiently, like bacteriophages with icosahedral symmetry” explains in non-technical terms how an exceptionally small virus that infects bacteria uses its geometry to efficiently encode instructions for assembling the protein shell that stores its genetic material. Readers may cut out a template and construct a model of the bacteriophage’s icosahedron-shaped head. In addition, numerous hand-drawn sketches illustrate the mathematical symmetries of the bacteriophage’s replication. Mathematics students and enthusiasts are encouraged to learn a lesson from the bacteriophage by economizing time and effort in mathematical and life pursuits. At the chapter’s end, readers may check their understanding by working on a problem. A solution is provided.

Keywords:   bacteriophage, symmetry, icosahedron, virus, geometry, math, students

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