Illume/Knapp - Playing with Art and Science: Origami, Glass, and Mathematics

Illume/Knapp - Playing with Art and Science: Origami, Glass, and Mathematics

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Monday, April 16, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.


Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Theatre

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




Father/son duo Martin and Erik Demaine like to blur the lines between art and mathematics, by freely moving from designing to sculpture to proving theorems and back again. Paper folding is a great setting for this approach, as it mixes a rich geometric structure with a beautiful art form. Mathematically, they are continually developing algorithms to fold paper into any desired shape. Sculpturally, the duo has been exploring curved creases, which remain poorly understood mathematically, but have potential applications in robotics, deployable structures, manufacturing, and self-assembly. By intregrating science and art, they constantly find new inspirations, problems, and ideas: proving that sculptures do or don't exist, or illustrating mathematical beauty through physical beauty. Collaboration, particularly as a father-son team, has been a powerful way for them to bridge these fields. Prior to the lecture, guests are able to view a sneak peek of the exhibition in the Humanities Center Gallery starting at 4 pm.

Reception to follow.


The College of Arts and Sciences is the liberal arts heart of the University of San Diego. Our students and faculty exemplify the power, vitality and value of a liberal arts and sciences education every day. To champion the tradition and future of the artes liberales, we have created the Illume Speaker Series featuring our own renowned faculty scholars, invited thought-leaders and prominent public figures to advance the liberal arts on our campus and inspire lifelong learning in our surrounding communities.


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