Folding and Unfolding

Meeting of the Math/CS Club
When Dec 05, 2007
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where AC: 2C 07 (Math/CS Dept. Conference Room)
Contact Name
Contact Phone 718-262-2551
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Folding and Unfolding


Eric Demaine (MIT) and Joseph O'Rourke (Smith College) recently wrote an amazing book called Folding and Unfolding. This volume charts a large array of geometrical and combinatorial questions associated with linkages, polygons, and polyhedra. Although some of the formal proofs are very complex the problems themselves are very easy to state and understand. This talk will deal with a tiny aspect of their book: Alexandrov's Theorem. This theorem provides the circumstances under which a plane simple polygon can be folded to a convex polyhedron (or in some "degenerate" cases to a double covered polygon). This talk will allow attendees to experience Alexandrov's Theorem for themselves by making convex polyhedra from convex polygons using no more than cardboard (stiff paper) and transparent (plastic) tape. The extra dividend is that nearly any question one might ask about the phenomena one observes here is unsolved!


Joseph Malkevitch

This talk will be self-contained. No prior knowledge is required.

Refreshments will be served.