Eric Demaine

General discussion about Origami, Papers, Diagramming, ...

Eric Demaine

Postby TheRealChris » July 17th, 2004, 4:29 pm

Lately I stumpled across an american mathmatician named Eric Demaine. I don't know if he's american, but I know that he's working in america. among other things, he is playing with paper and cuts. his goal is to fold a piece of paper in a specific way, that he only has to do ONE SINGLE CUT to produce models like a butterfly, a angelfish or other things.

I have rearranged his diagrams (to give you more fun without knowing what will appear after the cut) and uploaded them to my webspace. the goal of the diagrams is, to collapse the papier at the shown mountain and valley lines and bring the two or three BOLD lines together to build a straight line. first cut out the paper at the outer lines. diagrams cut1, cut2 and cut3 have to be collapsed at the middle line, before starting to make to folds.

I hope you have the same fun with them as I had:

http://wald.heim.at/redwood/512221/Cut1.gif
http://wald.heim.at/redwood/512221/Cut2.gif
http://wald.heim.at/redwood/512221/Cut3.gif
http://wald.heim.at/redwood/512221/Cut4.gif
http://wald.heim.at/redwood/512221/Cut5.gif
http://wald.heim.at/redwood/512221/Cut6.gif


greetings

- Christian
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Postby gilad_zn » July 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

Here's a bit of info on the amazing and largely unkown (outside of the academic circles) Eric Demaine.

* At the age of 7, he left school and traveled with his father around the U.S.
* He taught himself from self-study books along that time.
* He wanted to know how to program computer games, so he learned programming, and then got into mathematics.
* At the age of 12 he managed to get into a University (Dalhousie).
* He proved the "Paper Cut Problem" which your reffered to above while getting his PhD. I'm not sure on the specifics, but I think he managed to prove that you can make any closed shape with a single cut and folding only.

The moral of this story: school sucks.
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Postby bshuval » July 17th, 2004, 10:24 pm

For more information on the fold-and-cut problem, see Demaine's webpage about it:

http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~edemaine/foldcut/
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Postby TheRealChris » July 18th, 2004, 1:52 am

tztztz... there was a reason, why I didn't publish his webpage and more info about him. I wanted to keep the focus on the diagrams.
sorry to say that, but "gilad_zn" and "bshuval" managed to make something horrible theoretical out of something really funny.
hopefully the fun won't be missed out and you will first try the fold&cut diagrams and then find out more about Eric. just print the diagrams and try out :)


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Postby bshuval » July 18th, 2004, 7:20 am

Some people (e.g. me) are also interested in the theoretical aspects of origami. I see nothing wrong with posting a link to a good site on the subject.
Theory can also be fun.
I, for one, hate it when the focus is on the diagrams. I always wish for that "something extra". So, whenever I can, I do my best to provide more information.

I first heard of the fold-and-cut problem by reading somewhere about Houdini's pentagram. I then stumbled onto Erik Demiane's (yes, with a K) on the subject. And I found it fascinating.
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Postby TheRealChris » July 18th, 2004, 11:34 am

Erik Demiane's (yes, with a K)


maybe you should proof-read your sentences when you want to correct something :wink:
(I'm kidding)

there is nothing wrong with extra info, I was just wondering... nobody said anything about the diagrams. there are only two people that gave me info that I (for myself) already had. some feedback from the gang would be nice to let us know if there's interest in stuff like this.


Code: Select all
I, for one, hate it when the focus is on the diagrams

hopefully you don't really HATE this, because there is so much hate in the world...
:wink: :wink: :wink:
(I'm still kidding)
well, in that point, I completely disagree with you, because the focus of origami is the model. on none of the origami meetings was much discussion about the creators and their life, but mostly the folding process. so I believe the majority folders have their focus on the diagrams to improve their folding skill. and only after some time, they start to ask for the creator. I talked to a lot of folders and saw a gap between those who wanted to know all about origami and those who wanted to know nothing about origami but folding. I may be wrong, but obviously not many people like to have deeper information about origami, most people just have fun with the folding.

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Postby bshuval » July 18th, 2004, 3:15 pm

Well, I don't REALLY hate anything. I just said that for me, diagrams are not enough any more.

I really do not agree that the focus of origami is the model. This may be the focus for YOU. For others, the focus is completely different. I know a few folder for whom the folding process itself is much much more important than the final result. For others, origami is an educational tool. Each person is entitled to their own opinion of origami.

When I meet origami friends (whether in `official' origami meetings or not), we usually DO discuss the creators, their life, the creative process, anecdote, criticism of models (and that's very important), and so on. I have been to origami meetings where we didn't fold anything at all.

It is true that for me origami is much more than folding, and it is also more than a hobby. It's a fascination.
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Postby TheRealChris » July 18th, 2004, 5:27 pm

This may be the focus for YOU.

you should really read the entries before giving wrong replies. read it carefully and you will find out, that I never said, it's only my opinion but what I have noticed at meetings.


I know a few folder for whom the folding process itself is much much more important than the final result.

as long as you talk about doing origami, not looking at it, the folding process is at least as important as the final shaping. of course there are many models that are worthy to look at them, but as I said before, I only knew a few people that are more interested in theory than practice.


For others, the focus is completely different... For others, origami is an educational tool. Each person is entitled to their own opinion of origami.

there is no doubt about that, but that's not the point. the point was, that I wanted to give some funny diagrams to the community and got no response than theoretical additional stuff. that's where we started. there's no doubt, that different people have different interests, but that was never the question.


I have been to origami meetings where we didn't fold anything at all

I've never seen that. maybe it's also a question of where you come from? of course it happens from time to time, that we talk about people, but that's an exception, and mostly we fold. in fact on our monthly meeting, we never talked about anything but giving a helping hand for specific models.

It is true that for me origami is much more than folding, and it is also more than a hobby. It's a fascination.

well said, and true for myself, but it has nothing to do with this discussion.


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Postby bshuval » July 18th, 2004, 9:54 pm

I said that this may be the focus for YOU because you had said
I completely disagree with you, because the focus of origami is the model

To which I related the focus. The rest of the reply didn't imply you thought otherwise.

I only knew a few people that are more interested in theory than practice.

I never said (yes, nor did you imply. I read your answer carefully) that I was more interested in theory than practice. Nor is it the other way around. I am interested both in theory and practice. I gain a lot of joy from both learning how to fold a certain model, and also learning a wonderful theoretical result. It's similar to looking at a painting. Some people look at the painting and say "oh, that's nice". Some, look at the painting and try to understand the message the artist had tried to convey. Some also analyze the techniques the artist used to achieve the final result. Some try to find elements that are recurring in the artist's works. There is a place for all of these appreciations of a painting. And so, there is also a place for all of these appreciations of origami. I just think that if possible, one should try and entertain all kinds. And if I can help by pointing out to even one interested person a nice article, than I've done my share.


I've never seen that. maybe it's also a question of where you come from? of course it happens from time to time, that we talk about people, but that's an exception, and mostly we fold. in fact on our monthly meeting, we never talked about anything but giving a helping hand for specific models.


Perhaps my view of the origami world is skewed. If so, I am glad that there are so many people with whom I can share my thoughts and delights.

Here at the bimonthly origami meetings of the IOC, we usually fold only one or two models. One is taught by Paul or Miri, and the other is taught by a member. We rarely (I have never seen it happen) ask for help on folding a model. We usually do spend a lot of time talking. We all sit at a great big table, and talk and have fun. People also bring their new books or works to share, we discuss recent events, etc. I don't see how origami meetings can be run otherwise (this may be an interesting thread idea- origami meetings around the world).

but it has nothing to do with this discussion

As is probably very apparent, when I type with feeling, I often digress. I also make it a habit of mine not to reread what I have typed. So please bear with my digressions. I actually like reading posts where people have digressed.

Anyhow, it's an interesting discussion, and I am enjoying it immensely. Do any others wish to give their opinions???
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Postby saj » July 18th, 2004, 10:41 pm

Wow, I wonder how Erik proved that any closed shape can be created by folding and ONE cut. I'm sure he had excellent proof, but I probably won't be able to understand the math ...

Which reminds me, I need to relearn Trigonometry from scratch :(

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Postby TheRealChris » July 18th, 2004, 10:43 pm

I never said (yes, nor did you imply. I read your answer carefully) that I was more interested in theory than practice. Nor is it the other way around. I am interested both in theory and practice.

well, maybe I understood your sentence "I, for one, hate it when the focus is on the diagrams." wrong, I'm sorry for that, but for me, the diagrams are the basics for the practice, because I think most of the time we're folding on our own (with no teacher at all), and the only helping hand we have are our diagrams.

I also wanted to bring in the comparison with painting, but thought it wouldn't be a good one. if somebody likes origami, he will try to fold something sooner or later, but if somebody likes to look at drawings, it doesn't have to mean that he will draw sooner or later. in my opinion, practice is much more implemented into origami than into most other arts. maybe that's, why origami isn't an official called "art"? if you draw, you're an artist, if you're folding, you're a tinker... sad, isn't it? origami is a real art to me... wow, I'm getting off-topic ;)

I don't see how origami meetings can be run otherwise (this may be an interesting thread idea- origami meetings around the world).

a good idea, maybe I should open another discussion about that :)


Anyhow, it's an interesting discussion, and I am enjoying it immensely.

me too :) I always like to hear other peoples opinions.


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Postby stuckie27 » July 20th, 2004, 4:20 am

An Article in OUSA's "The Paper" Issue 85 that features Erik explains that he has received the Macarthur "Genius" Grant, which entitles him to a 500,000 no strings attached grant.

Erik later in the article states " One of the big messages for me in recieving the award is a confirmation that the "non-mainstream" areas I work in --Computational origami among them-- are indeed important areas of research and people care about them."

Erik explains with enthusiasm " I can now afford to buy a lot of paper!"

I thin that this is a great achievement for Erik as well as an outside acknowledgement of the worth of Origami and others disciplines of study. It will be interesting to see if anything revolutionary arises because of this grant, of coarse I don’t foresee Erik spending all of the money on origami, after all he does have a PHD in advanced computer science and he’s is only 22, which by the way is the youngest recipient of the Macarthur Grant
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