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Mathematics of Origami

As follow-up to viewing the documentary Between the Folds, you might want to explore some origami yourself or with mathematics students. But, rather than mindlessly folding cranes and frogs, try to also explore the mathematics underlying these origami techniques.

The best text resource perhaps is Thomas Hull's Origami3 (AJ Peters, 2002). The book is the proceedings for the Third International Meeting of Origami Science, Math, and Education, sponsored by origamiUSA.

The book is a wealth of information, organized into three sections:

  1. Mathematics of Origami
  2. Origami Science and Applications
  3. Origami in Education
The book is not easy...either specific to the mathematics or the origami. But, most of it is presented in an understandable way...and its rich ideas are explorable. Some key ideas in mathematics are algorithms, symmetry, computational origami, constructions, map design, polypolyhedra, trig functions, flexagon extensions, and graph theory.

To read an abstract of each of the chapters, please consult this conference summary . I predict that you will enjoy this book. It is not a book to be read, but explored and reflected on. Also, there is now an Origami4 available, but I have not yet explored it. One cannot keep up with all the interesting things occurring in mathematics!