Proof clarifies a map-folding problem

By Ivars Peterson, 15:47 PM April 15, 2008

Anyone trying to refold an opened road map is wrestling with the same sort of challenges confronted by origami designers and sheet metal benders.

The problem of returning a creased sheet to its neatly folded state gets tougher when you're not sure if the sheet can be folded into a flat packet and when you're not permitted to change the crease directions. Such conundrums arise, for example, when designers determine how to bend sheet metal to produce, say, car doors or heating ducts.

Now, Erik D...

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