Robert Lang, a physicist and origami artist, will give a free public presentation titled “From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: the Modern Science of Origami,” Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 from  5 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 140 Hahn Hall North on the Virginia Tech campus.

Lang is one of the foremost origami artists and theorists in the world. He relies heavily on mathematics to design his intricate origami figures and has invented ways of applying algorithms to his origami design process. Lang specializes in finding real-world applications for the various theories of origami he has developed. These include designing safer airbags and a folding lens for space telescopes.

A physicist and engineer himself, Lang worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory among others before becoming a full-time origami artist and consultant in 2001. He is the author of eight books and numerous articles on origami.

Lang’s designs are complex and elegant, most notably insects and animals. He has long been a student of the mathematics of origami and of using computers to study the theories behind it.

“This is a unique opportunity to blend art and science,” said Tim Long, associate dean for strategic initiatives in the College of Science. “We look forward to more ventures illustrating this interplay in the future.”

Lang’s appearance is co-sponsored by the College of Science, the School of Performing Arts and Cinema, the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, and the Fralin Life Science Institute.

Parking is available in the Hahn Hall lot in front of the building on West Campus Drive and the Perry Street lot at the intersection of West Campus Drive and Prices Fork Road.



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