“More and more, we find that our mathematical research and artistic projects converge, with the artistic side inspiring the mathematical side and vice versa.”
— Erik Demaine
Needless to say, I am determined to go see it.
Don’t know who Erik Demaine is? He’s only a brilliant computer scientist who studies the mathematics of origami, the youngest ever tenured professor at MIT, a MacArthur fellow, and a total boss in general. (more under the cut)
This past summer, I got to see a lecture by him at the summer program I went to. And I found out that despite all his genius, he’s a really down-to-earth, friendly guy. After his lecture, a few of my friends and I went up to talk to him. He took out a huge origami hyperbolic paraboloid (“hypar”), held it in his hand as if it were a beak, and “attacked” us with his bird-monster-hand saying “nom nom nom!”.
Coolest. Person. Ever.
Anyway, at one point during his lecture, he showed us photos of gorgeous polyhedra made out of hypars. I thought they were so awesome that I got obsessed with folding them.
In the days directly after seeing his presentation, I made a hypar cube:
And a hypar star:
I’m currently working on a hypar icosahedron.
The individual hypars are pretty easy to make. You just take a square sheet of paper and fold it like so:
You can also apply this pattern of folding to other shapes like hexagons & octagons to get some pretty funky results (try and see for yourself!).
So to sum it up: Professor Demaine is amazingly cool. Therefore, you should go check out his exhibit.
QED, folks. QED.