Monday, April 23 at 9:00 AM
What forms of origami can be designed automatically by algorithms? How might we build reconfigurable robots like Transformers or Terminator 3, hinging together a collection of pieces that dynamically reconfigure into arbitrary shapes? When can a robotic arm of rigid rods be folded into a desired configuration? What shapes can result by folding a piece of paper flat and making one complete straight cut? What 3D surfaces can be manufactured from a single sheet of material? How might proteins fold?
Geometric folding is a branch of discrete and computational geometry that addresses these and many other intriguing questions. I will give a taste of the many results that have been proved in the past several years, as well as the several exciting unsolved problems that remain open. Many folding problems have applications in areas including manufacturing, robotics, graphics, and protein folding.