Origami – Mathematics, Science and Technology

Sep 2018

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
Presidential Lecture Series

Prof. L  Mahadevan delves into the world of origami, from its origins in natural patterns to creations in art, from understanding it using mathematics to its deployment in technology.

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Origami: Art and Science

Jun 2017

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On Growth and Form: Mathematics, Physics and Biology

Apr 2016
MPE2013 Simons Public Lecture by L. Mahadevan
The diversity of living forms led Darwin to state that it is “enough to drive the sanest man mad”. How can we describe this variety? How can we understand the origin and evolution of these “endless forms most beautiful?” And how do these forms link to function and physiology at the organismic level and beyond? Mathematics, and geometry in particular, provides a natural language to express these questions and answer them. Motivated by biological observations on different scales from molecules to organisms to swarms, I will show how a combination of quantitative experiments, physical analogies, mathematical theories and computational models allow us to begin to unravel the mechanistic basis for aspects of morphogenesis and thence towards physiology, pathophysiology and biomimetics.

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Sep 2014

In 2014, the paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris organized a meeting titled “Are there limits to evolution?” As part of the meeting, a few videos were recorded, including the one below. Others can be found at the following site .

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The architecture of natural patterns

Aug 2010

Patterns in space and time surround us on all scales, from the atomic to the galactic. They are particularly rich at the scale of everyday life because it is in this “middle earth” that physics, chemistry and biology come together in very subtle ways. However, many of these patterns are things that we take for granted–so much so that we often mistake the familiar for the understood. I will try and unfold the familiar by describing, using theory, experiment and numerical simulation, a few examples of the complex structure of the world around us that arises from simple causes, that lead to an understanding of how matter is shaped and how it flows, both passively and actively.

Professor L. Mahadevan is the de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. His principal fields of interest are applied mathematics, macroscopic physics, and biological dynamics.

Mohsen Mostafavi, an architect and educator, is the Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design.

NOW? is an occasional series of conversations about ideas, images, words, things, drawings, places, designs. NOW? is also a specific temporal moment–of thought and action–caught between the present and possible futures

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MacArthur Fellowship Interview

Sep 2009

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