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Letting Dead People Do Your Work For You

What does this origami figure have to do with mathematics? And in particular with circle packings?

Lang's origami bull moose

Almost everyone has at some point in their life made an origami figure. Probably not one as difficult as the above. By far the easiest and so most popular are planes, hats and boats. In restaurants you can see napkins turned into fans and swans.

Paper folding is an art form. From your imagination you change a square piece of paper without cutting or tearing and produce something artistic. So we might think it has nothing to do with mathematics. In the following TED video Robert Lang shows just how wrong one can be.

I particularly like his statement at the end

This often happens in mathemaics and the sciences… problems that you solve for aesthetic value only … turn around and turn out to have an application in the real world.

You can find out more at his website: http://www.langorigami.com/

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