TED Speaker to Share Origami Secrets at HSU

Robert J. Lang, an international leader in computational origami and among the world’s foremost origami artists with a repertoire of more than 500 designs, will deliver a free public lecture at Humboldt State University on Tuesday, March 9. The 2008 "TED Conference":http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/robert_lang_folds_way_new_origami.html speaker will address the links between Japanese paper-folding and the solution of modern scientific and engineering problems.

A practitioner of origami for more than four decades, Lang’s 55th Kieval Lecture is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. in Van Duzer Theatre and titled “From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Modern Science of Origami.” The title refers to the origami geometric concepts that helped to solve the engineering problem of delivering giant space telescopes to their cosmic destinations, surmount obstacles to creating safer airbags and achieve lifesaving medical advances.

Lang is credited with some of the most complex origami designs ever created. He is also considered among the pioneers of the cross-disciplinary marriage of origami with mathematics. His work combines elements of the Western school of mathematical origami design with the East’s emphasis on line and form.

In 2008 Lang spoke at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference in Monterey, Calif. His art has been exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, the Mingei Museum of World Folk Art in San Diego and the Nippon Museum of Origami in Kaga, Japan, among others.

The author and co-author of nine books and numerous articles on origami art and design, Lang became in 1992 the first Westerner invited to address the Nippon Origami Association’s annual meeting. He has also been one of the few Western columnists for Origami Tanteidan magazine, the journal of the Japan Origami Academic Society.

Lang’s career has included consultancies as a physicist, engineer and research and development manager. He has been awarded 50 patents and patents pending on semi-conductor lasers, optics and integrated opto-electronics.

Prior to his evening lecture in the Van Duzer Theatre, Lang will deliver remarks at the Department of Mathematics Colloquium, “Mathematical Methods in Origami Design,” at 4 p.m. in Science B, Room 133. This free technical lecture is also open to the public.

A pre-colloquium tea will be served at 3:30 p.m. in the third floor open alcove of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Building.

Each year, HSU’s Kieval Lecture Series brings eminent mathematicians to the campus to present topical math issues to the University community and the general public. With a substantial gift of stock in 1987, Harry S. Kieval, professor of mathematics at HSU from 1966 to 1979, was the first Humboldt State donor to establish a charitable trust. In addition to supporting the lecture series, the Harry S. Kieval Endowment provides scholarships to outstanding math students.

Details about this year’s lecture are available from Professor Martin Flashman at 707/826-4950 and martin.flashman@humboldt.edu.