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How to fold it

How to fold it

I just finished reading this book (clicking on the image will take you to the Amazon site).

This was a joyous adventure. It is written clearly and the associated graphics illuminate the text.  I rushed through this book much faster than  I wanted. However, this did not stop me from grabbing blocks of paper and folding and creating my own “Betsy Ross” five pointed star with one cut; folding a square twist and somewhat successfully trying to fold a Miura fold.  These limited attempts on my part provided visual and tactile insights that I could never have appreciated by reading alone. The book’s clear exposition, however, makes such instructive play possible.

The book is full of explorations as well as the Mathematical underpinnings of linkages, Origami and polyhedra. It is a book you want to come back to try some physical constructions (and virtual constructions, e.g. using Mathematica).

Some amazing theorems are presented, such as that a folding exists for one cut construction for any polygon (i.e closed figure made from straight lines)…finding it well that is another story.  The vast ocean of open questions are also highlighted.

This book took me through a wonderful tour in an enjoyable and understandable way. The underlying complexity is glimpsed but does not overwhelm the reader. I will never look at a paper shopping bag in the same way again.

 

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Categories: books, Mathematics
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  1. January 25, 2012 at 11:54 pm

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