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Folding Paper: Visual Art Meets Mathematics by Erik Demaine

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The Great Hall, Dalhousie University Club

6259 Alumni Crescent

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5

Canada

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Dal alumnus, artist and MIT Professor, Erik Demaine (BSc'95) returns to campus to discuss "Folding Paper: Visual Art Meets Mathematics," on March 8, 2018.

Abstract:
I like to blur the lines between art and mathematics, by freely moving from designing sculpture to proving theorems and back again. Paper folding is a great setting for this approach, as it mixes a rich geometric structure with a beautiful art form. Mathematically, we are continually developing algorithms to fold paper into any shape you desire; with Tomohiro Tachi, our new Origamizer algorithm enables efficient watertight folding of any polyhedral surface, such as the classic Stanford bunny or Utah teapot. Sculpturally, we have been exploring curved creases, which remain poorly understood mathematically, but have potential applications in robotics, deployable structures, manufacturing, and self-assembly. By integrating science and art, we constantly find new inspirations, problems, and ideas: proving that sculptures do or don't exist, or illustrating mathematical beauty through physical beauty. Collaboration, particularly with my father Martin Demaine, has been a powerful way for us to bridge these fields. Lately we are exploring how folding changes with other materials, such as hot glass, opening a new approach to glass blowing, and finding new ways for paper and glass to interact.

About the speaker:
Identified as a child prodigy at 7 years old, Erik graduated from Dalhousie at the age of 14 and later became the youngest professor ever hired at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His artwork is featured in New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Renwick Gallery in the Smithsonian.

Erik Demaine is a Professor in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Demaine's research interests range throughout algorithms, from data structures for improving web searches to the geometry of understanding how proteins fold to the computational difficulty of playing games.

For more information on the event, please contact alumni.science@dal.ca.

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The Great Hall, Dalhousie University Club

6259 Alumni Crescent

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5

Canada

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