CAMPUS THEORY SEMINAR
Part of the SCIENCE AT THE EDGE Seminar Series
Friday, April 13, 2001
11:30am in Room 224 Physics-Astronomy Building
(Refreshments at 11:15am)
Folding and Unfolding Linkages, Paper, and Polyhedra
Erik Demaine
Department of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
I will present several recent results about folding and unfolding
problems in geometry. For example, consider a polygonal linkage made
up of rigid bars connected in a cycle. Can all such linkages be
moved to become convex, while preserving all the bar lengths and
without crossing any of the bars? In the context of paper folding
(origami), what shapes can be folded out of a square piece of paper?
Both of these questions have recently been settled. Two other bodies
of research investigate polyhedra: unfolding polyhedra into
nonoverlapping "nets," and gluing polygons into polyhedra.