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Professor Tom Hull Discusses the Future of Origami, Math, and More for WIRED Magazine

Published: July 07, 2021 | Categories: Faculty, Arts and Sciences, All News

Physicist explains Origami in 5 levels of difficulty

Professor Tom Hull WIRED interview


WIRED Magazine recently released a video series called 5 Levels which poses the question: Can everything be explained to everyone in terms that they can understand? WIRED answers the question by challenging expert scientists to explain high-level subjects in five different layers of complexity.

In the June 30 episode, Physicist Explains Origami in 5 Levels of Difficulty, WIRED challenges one of the world’s foremost origami artists and theorists Dr. Robert J. Lang to explain origami to five different people; a child, a teen, a college student, a grad student, and an origami expert. The subject matter expert chosen for this episode is Western New England University's very own Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Tom Hull.

"Math is really about patterns," says Professor Hull in his interview with Lang. "The patterns that we see in origami are reflecting some kind of mathematical structure and we don't quite know yet what all of that structure is. If we can tie a mathematical structure that's already well-studied to something we see happening in origami, then we can use the math tools right away to help solve the engineering problems and the origami problems. And the fact that there's so many applications to this is really making people excited who are working in the area."

Watch as Dr. Hull and Dr. Lang have a fascinating discussion about origami, math, and the potential that their cross-disciplinary marriage may have on the future of industry.

WIRED is a source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. The breakthroughs and innovations that are uncovered lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries. Click here to watch the full video with all five levels of complexity.