The Science of Origami

By Chris Mooney | May 29, 2009 4:00 pm

Here at Michigan State, just heard a dazzling talk by this dude: Robert J. Lang, a former physicist now a fulltime origami artist. Wow. He and other math whizzes have demystifed the mystical art, broken it down into computer models and equations, and can now literally program complex origami structures and designs: Give the computer a shape (say, a deer) and it will give you the crease pattern needed to produce it.

Here are two of his works, an Irish Elk and a Golden Eagle, and I greatly encourage you to visit his website to see many more:



Talk about a “two cultures” merger….


Comments (4)

  1. The bird works better. The antlered guy has too many visible folds and pieces to be beautiful.

  2. MadScientist

    Oooo – thanks for the link. :)

    Is it dry or wet origami?

  3. It was such a cool talk! And by far one of the more interesting today. Glad to see this post about it. :)

    *waves* Hi, I’m the grad student with the over-sized laptop near the front of the room…

  4. That sounds insanely cool


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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.


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