Differential geometry can describe how the curves and surfaces of a given object will bend and crease. The problem, Grinspun says, is "that differential geometry is built for smooth surfaces with infinite detail." Computers can process only a finite amount of detail. For example, to describe a circle, computers must divide that circle into a series of connecting short sides—the greater the number of sides, the smoother the circle. Describing all of the curves and creases in a crushed can accurately takes a huge amount of processing power, so Grinspun—one of only a couple of mathematicians in the field with a background in computer science—set about translating the theorems into a more elegant set of instructions for the computer, allowing existing processors to break the infinite into discrete units far more efficiently.