How to Fold It: The Mathematics of Linkages, Origami and Polyhedra by Joseph ORourkeHow to Fold It: The Mathematics of Linkages, Origami and Polyhedra by Joseph ORourke

How to Fold It: The Mathematics of Linkages, Origami and Polyhedra

byJoseph ORourke

Paperback | April 25, 2011

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What do proteins and pop-up cards have in common? How is opening a grocery bag different from opening a gift box? How can you cut out the letters for a whole word all at once with one straight scissors cut? How many ways are there to flatten a cube? You can answer these questions and more through the mathematics of folding and unfolding. From this book, you will discover new and old mathematical theorems by folding paper and find out how to reason toward proofs. With the help of 200 color figures, author Joseph O'Rourke explains these fascinating folding problems starting from high school algebra and geometry and introducing more advanced concepts in tangible contexts as they arise. He shows how variations on these basic problems lead directly to the frontiers of current mathematical research and offers ten accessible unsolved problems for the enterprising reader. Before tackling these, you can test your skills on fifty exercises with complete solutions. The book's Web site,, has dynamic animations of many of the foldings and downloadable templates for readers to fold or cut out.
Title:How to Fold It: The Mathematics of Linkages, Origami and PolyhedraFormat:PaperbackDimensions:190 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.39 inPublished:April 25, 2011Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521145473

ISBN - 13:9780521145473


Table of Contents

Part I. Linkages: 1. Robot arms; 2. Straight-line linkages and the pantograph; 3. Protein folding and pop-up cards; Part II. Origami: 4. Flat vertex folds; 5. Fold and one-cut; 6. The shopping bag theorem; Part III. Polyhedra: 7. Durer's problem: edge unfolding; 8. Unfolding orthogonal polyhedra; 9. Folding polygons to convex polyhedra; 10. Further reading; 11. Glossary; 12. Answers to exercises; 13. Permissions and acknowledgments.

Editorial Reviews

"Readers learn firsthand how the right way of looking at the right question potentially launches new fields of mathematics."
D.V. Feldman, Choice Magazine