The department would like to welcome Joseph O’Rourke, from Smith College, who will be giving a talk on November 4, 2016, from 12:30-1:30 in SCP 229. Afterwards he will be doing a workshop from 3:30 – 4:30 pm in SCP 224.
I will focus on the still-unresolved question of whether or not every convex polyhedron can be cut along its edges and unfolded flat to a single non-overlapping piece. Although it remains an open problem, there has been progress on related questions — for example, refolding an unfolded polyhedron to a different polyhedron. Some of these questions again lead to intriguing unknowns.
Tangentially — more for fun — I will also discuss the mathematics behind one beautiful pop-up card design, and one remarkable theorem concerning flat origami.
Prior to joining Smith in 1988 to found and chair the computer science department, Joseph O’Rourke was an assistant and then associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University. His research is in the field of computational geometry. In 2001, he was awarded the NSF Director’s Award to Distinguished Teaching Scholars. He is also a professor of mathematics and director of statistical and data sciences.