Origami Mathematics

These pages are an attempt to begin collecting information on the mathematics of paper folding. Anyone who has practiced origami has probably, at one time or another, unfolded an origami model and marveled at the intricate crease pattern which forms the "blueprint" of the fold. Clearly there are some rules at play in these collection of creases. Clearly there is an origami geometry at work when paper is folded.

Such geometry, this mathematics of origami, has been studied extensively by origamists, mathematicians, scientists and artists. The Italian-Japanese mathematician Humiaki Huzita has formulated a list of axioms to define origami geometrically. Physicist Jun Maekawa has discovered some fundamental theorems about origami and used them to design origami models of surprising elegance. Mathematician Toshikazu Kawasaki has a number of origami theorems to his name and has even generalized some of them to describe paper folding in higher dimensions. (Origami in the fourth dimension!) Robert Lang of California has developed an ingenious way to algorithmatize the origami design process, using a computer to help him invent models of amazing complexity. Educator Shuzo Fujimoto and artist Chris Palmer have discovered amazing parallels between origami and tessellations. And an enormous number of teachers have been developing ways to use origami to teach concepts in math, chemistry, physics and architecture.

Unfortunately, much of the above-mentioned work is new, and at the time of this writing there are few good references for this type of information. These pages will try to help solve this problem by providing an extensive bibliography for origami-math, list upcoming lectures and events, and offer instructions and tutorials for select topics.

However, this is an on-going project! These pages are still in their infancy, and any comments or suggestions (or offers to help!) would be greatly appreciated!

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These pages Copyright 1997-2015 by Thomas Hull. Last changed 3/14/15.