PopSci’s 2nd Annual Brilliant 10

Try your hand at folding problems.

Photograph by Antonin Kratochvil

PARTY PUSHER Erik Demaine mulls the math of folded forms.

Erik Demaine, one of Popular Science‘s Brilliant Ten, is a 22-year-old assistant professor at MIT who specializes in computational origami. Here’s a guide to some problems on his site, along with a few links to the wider world of mathematics of paper folding.

Was Betsy Ross an early origami mathematician? Explanation and history of the classic fold-and-cut problem.

Giftwrapping for geniuses. The most efficient way to wrap a two- or three-dimensional shape.

Links to various sites on the mathematics of paper folding from Tom Hull, a Merrimack University mathematician.

A project to build a three-dimensional fractal, known as a Menger Sponge, out of 66,000+ business cards.