MAMT 590-52 Origami Mathematics Revisited

Buckyball five intersecting tetrahedra rhombicuboctahedron spike

Welcome! If you're looking at this web page, then you're either registered for or planning/thinking of registering for the online class MAMT 590-52 Origami Mathematics Revisited for the Spring 2023 term at Western New England University.

Here you will find some information about the course. More details will be provided in the course syllabus. Please feel free to EMAIL ME if you have any questions!

Interested in this course, but not an MAMT student? Then you can apply to enroll in the course as a non-degree student. WNE charges $1275 for our MAMT courses (which is fairly cheap as these things go). Here is the non-degree study application and here is the listing of the MAMT 2023 Spring Term courses.

Meeting times: Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00pm - 7:20pm (Eastern Time Zone), Jan. 23 - May 10, 2023.

Instructor: Tom Hull, Associate Professor of Mathematics, WNE. Office: Herman 308-G

Description: Origami, the art of paper folding, has become an active area of scientific and mathematical research in physics and engineering over the past 10 years. It has also been a source of innovative, hands-on techniques for teaching mathematics for even longer. This course will dive deep into the mathematics of origami and the ways it can be used to teach math topics in geometry, algebra, and combinatorics. On one hand, this is a continuation of MATH 574, Origami in Math and Education, but on the other hand we will explore areas of origami-math that the previous course did not touch. Some review will be given, on geometric constructions and flat-foldability, for students who have either not taken MATH 574 or who need a refresher. Then the topics we explore will include modular origami (with an exploration of polyhedral geometry), the general field of origami constructible numbers, simple and advanced techniques for counting the ways to fold a crease pattern, computer simulations of flat and rigid origami using Mathematica, and discovering how origami can fit into current state math curricular frameworks. Core class

Online course: This course will be conducted online in a synchronous format. (Actually, our whole MAMT program is now 100% online.)

Textbooks: A required text for this course (from which there will be some assigned readings) is:

An optional book for this course, which many people find useful, is:

About this class in particular: This is the second course we have in the MAMT program on the mathematics of origami. The first, MAMT 574 Origami in Mathematics and Education, was last offered in the Winter of 2022. Many students in that class stated that they would like to have a second origami-math class, and that's what this is!

However, this MAMT 590 class will be self-contained. There will definitely be students wanting to take this course who did not take the MAMT 574 class. That is OK! Origami-math is a big field, and most of the topics we cover will be introduced from scratch, without prior origami-math know-how.

But a few topics will require students who have not taken MAMT 574 (and perhaps even those who have!) to review things ahead of time. To help with this, I will

This summary video will be provided on our Kodiak class, so that as soon as you register for the class you will have access to it.

Topics covered: So what will we be covering in this class? While I do like to keep things flexible in order to respond to student interest, the topics will include:

square twist rigidly folding

Grading: Your grade for the class will be determined by the following:

Meguro bug

About Folding: There will be a fair amount of paper folding done in class and sometimes for homework. Please do NOT be worried about your own personal paper-folding skill. Most of what we will fold will be at the simple level (although they will use math!) and not complex bugs like the one shown above. However, we will study the math behind such complex-level origami. Those students who do wish to explore such advanced paper folding will have opportunities to do so.

About the instructor: Thomas Hull has been practicing origami since he was 8 years old. He has co-authored two origami instruction books (Origami, Plain and Simple with Robert Neale (1994), and Russian Origami with Sergei Afonkin (1997), both published by St. Martin's Press) and has invented numerous origami models. His PHiZZ Unit has been especially popular, and his Five Intersecting Tetrahedra model was voted by the British Origami Society as one of the top 10 origami models of all time. From 1994-2007 he was on the board of directors for OrigamiUSA, a national nonprofit organization for the advancement of origami. He is also one of the world experts on the mathematics of origami. He edited the book Origami3 (the Proceedings of the Third International Meeting of Origami in Science, Mathematics, and Education) and authored the optional texts for this course, Project Origami and Origametry. He has been invited to lecture on the mathematics of origami across the USA as well as in Peurto Rico, Europe, and Japan. In other words, this is his specialty and this will be an awesome class!

Links: There are a lot of great resources for origami, and origami-math, online. Below are a few links to explore (feel free to search for more) if you want to get a feel for what origami is all about.

Last updated: 1/10/2023

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