From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Modern World of Origami

10/23/2018 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Gatton Student Center Theater
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Robert Lang

Recent years have witnessed a revolution in the development and application of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries- old Japanese art of paper folding. This talk describes how origami changed in the 20th century from a simple craft to an art form of mind-blowing complexity and realism. Much of this development came from the discovery of the mathematics of origami, which, though developed for art’s sake, has led to some surprising practical applications. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems. Learn how origami has enabled safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.


Robert J. Lang is a physicist and a leading theorist of the mathematics of origami. For more information about his visit to the University of Kentucky, visit

Lang's visit is sponsored by the Division of Student and Academic Life at the University of Kentucky

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