"Origami - Mathematics, Science and Technology" by Prof. Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan

OIST Presidential Lecture Series
"Origami - Mathematics, Science and Technology" by Prof. Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan

Origami, the exquisite craft of folding paper into three-dimensional shapes, has been practiced for millennia by artists and lay people. Prof. Mahadevan will discuss some physical aspects of rigid and soft origami associated with the weak and strong deformations of thin sheets of any material. The efficient packing properties of folded matter suggest that it ought to occur naturally in physical and biological systems, and he will show that they do indeed appear on a range of scales, e.g. in drying gels, wings, leaves and even your gut as a self-organized pattern. These physical manifestations of origami suggest the question of how to design the number, location and orientation of folds to create complex shapes. Prof. Mahadevan will finish his talk with a description of attempts to solve this inverse problem, and its generalizations.

【Prof. Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan】

  • Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
  • Professor of Physics and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology,
  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University

L. Mahadevan FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society) graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and then received an M.S from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1995. He started his independent career on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996. In 2000, he was elected the Inaugural Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, and a professorial fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge, the first Indian to be appointed professor to the Faculty of Mathematics there. He has been at Harvard since 2003.

His work centers around using mathematics to understand the organization of matter in space and time, i.e. how it is shaped and how it flows, particularly at the scale observable by the unaided senses. Prof. Mahadevan’s work has been recognized by awards that include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation (2006-07),the MacArthur Foundation (2009-14), and the Radcliffe Institute (2014-15), and visiting professorships at Oxford, École Normale Supérieure (Paris), Berkeley and MIT.