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The Modern Science of Origami
From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes


Robert J. Lang
Author, Artist, and Editor-in-Chief
IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics

Friday, March 28, 2008
10:30 a.m., Red Auditorium
VTC to Boulder will be Room 1107


The last decade of this past century has been witness to a revolution in the development of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of paper-folding. Geometric concepts have led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems – specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps. This has enabled origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism, some of which you’ll see. As often happens, theory developed for its own sake has led to some surprising practical applications. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems, e.g. safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.

Anyone outside NIST wishing to attend must be sponsored by a NIST employee and receive a visitor badge. For more information, call Kum J. Ham at 301-975-4203.

Colloquia are videotaped and available in the NIST Research Library.