The first infinite families of symmetric designs were obtained from finite projective geometries, Hadamard matrices, and difference sets. Some of these symmetric designs have applications to coding theory, cryptography, and authentication schemes. Recently, new ideas have been introduced in constructing designs using balanced generalized weighing matrices and regular Hadamard matrices. These have led to several new families of symmetric designs and related configurations such as quasi-residual designs. The first part of this paper aims to survey these new developments as well as recent results about families of symmetric designs. The second part of the paper concerns quasi-residual designs and their non-embeddability.
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