11am Saturday, Nov 1, 2014
Laurel Hall 101
In the past 25 years, origami has seen a tremendous explosion, in the arts, the sciences, and in technology. The mathematical theory of origami, in many ways, is at its infancy. There is a simple relationship between origami folds and geometric trees, obtained simply by looking at the crease lines of a piece of folded polygonal paper. In genetics, such trees play an important role in capturing the evolutionary process of species. We try to show a natural map between these worlds, of spaces of polygons and spaces of metric trees, and ask some foundational questions about this map. The heavy lifting of our work is done by an analogous version of a beautiful rigidity result of Cauchy from 1813.