Comments on It's Knot TheoryTypePad2006-03-06T08:18:00ZMark Thomahttps://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/tag:typepad.com,2003:https://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/03/its_knot_theory/comments/atom.xml/Ovidiu commented on 'It's Knot Theory'tag:typepad.com,2003:6a00d83451b33869e201a3fcfe5d5c970b2014-05-01T09:36:39Z2014-05-01T09:36:39ZOvidiuNow you can read about knots in finance. The stocks can be twisted into knots in the market http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.6637<p>Now you can read about knots in finance. The stocks can be twisted into knots in the market<br />
<a href="http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.6637" rel="nofollow">http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.6637</a><br />
</p>save_the_rustbelt commented on 'It's Knot Theory'tag:typepad.com,2003:6a00d83451b33869e200d83479489853ef2006-03-06T18:23:45Z2007-04-26T01:59:55Zsave_the_rustbeltGive a 12-year-old Boy SCout a tent rope and he will find an infinite variety of knots, most of which...<p>Give a 12-year-old Boy SCout a tent rope and he will find an infinite variety of knots, most of which will not come untied when wet.</p>anne commented on 'It's Knot Theory'tag:typepad.com,2003:6a00d83451b33869e200d834aeb05e69e22006-03-06T15:53:56Z2007-04-26T01:58:48Zannehttp://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/15/science/15origami.html?ex=1266296400&en=0ab1ceea47c1ab3b&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland February 15, 2005 Origami as the Shape of Things to Come By MARGARET WERTHEIM CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - "Some people...<p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/15/science/15origami.html?ex=1266296400&en=0ab1ceea47c1ab3b&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland" rel="nofollow">http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/15/science/15origami.html?ex=1266296400&en=0ab1ceea47c1ab3b&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland</a></p>
<p>February 15, 2005</p>
<p>Origami as the Shape of Things to Come<br />
By MARGARET WERTHEIM</p>
<p>CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - "Some people don't even think this exists," says Dr. Erik Demaine, turning in his hands an elaborately folded paper structure. The intricately pleated sail-like form swooshes gracefully in a compound curve and certainly looks real enough - if decidedly tricky to make.</p>
<p>Dr. Demaine, an assistant professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the leading theoretician in the emerging field of origami mathematics, the formal study of what can be done with a folded sheet of paper. He believes the form he is holding is a hyperbolic parabaloid, a shape well known to mathematicians - or something very close to that - but he wants to be able to prove this conjecture. "It's not easy to do," he says.</p>
<p>Dr. Demaine is not a man to be easily defeated by a piece of paper. Over the past few years he has published a series of landmark results about the theory of folded structures, including solutions to the longstanding "single-cut" problem and the "carpenter's rule" problem. These days he is applying insights he has gleaned from his studies of wrinkling and crinkling and hinging to questions in architecture, robotics and molecular biology. </p>
<p>Origami may seem an unusual route to a prestigious university job, but most things about Dr. Demaine defy academic norms.</p>
<p>As a child, he and his father, Martin, a goldsmith and glass artist who home-schooled his son as a single parent, traveled around the United States, settling somewhere new every 6 to 12 months.</p>
<p>At 12 years old, after Erik had become intensely interested first in computer games, then in computer programming, and finally in mathematics, he persuaded the administrators of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to let him take classes in math and computer science. His father sat in as an auditor. Erik Demaine received his doctorate at 20 and at the same age became the youngest professor ever at M.I.T. In 2003 he was granted a MacArthur "genius" fellowship. </p>
<p>Today, at 23, he has published over 100 academic papers in fields as diverse as computational geometry, combinatorial game theory, data stuctures and graph theory. Along with his interest in folding, Dr. Demaine is also an expert in algorithms. He is also one of the computing world's major collaborators, with more than 140 co-authors so far.</p>
<p>"He loves working with other people," says Dr. Joseph O'Rourke, a mathematician and computer scientist at Smith College who has been collaborating with Erik Demaine since he was 16. "He has a very broad understanding of a whole range of topics and he often brings in ideas that at first seem off the wall but really help to enrich what you are doing."</p>
<p>Yet for all Dr. Demaine's smarts, the pleated form in front of him is not giving up its secrets easily. The perplexing question is whether its concertina-like structure can be derived by purely mathematical transformations of a flat sheet, or whether the sheet must be stretched in places to take on this complex shape.</p>
<p>As Dr. Demaine explains, stretching would warp the intrinsic flatness thereby destroying the underlying geometry. If that were the case then, mathematically speaking, it would not exist. "But if it doesn't exist mathematically then something else is going on and it would be nice to know what that is," he says, setting the model down on his desk....</p>Barracuda commented on 'It's Knot Theory'tag:typepad.com,2003:6a00d83451b33869e200d834aeab7b69e22006-03-06T15:05:53Z2007-04-26T01:58:18ZBarracudaFascinating. A long time ago, I was a math major in college. The last math class I took (necessary to...<p>Fascinating. A long time ago, I was a math major in college. The last math class I took (necessary to complete my major) was topology. It was taught by a guy who had just finished his Ph.D. the previous (fall) sememster and wouldn't begin his tenure-track position until the following fall. He was an interesting guy and terrific teacher.</p>
<p>From time to time, the class managed to get him to talk -- albeit briefly -- about math issues not directly related to the curriculum. One day we asked him what his specialty was. His answer: "knot theory." Then one student asked him if he would ever be famous. "It depends on what you mean," he replied. "Will I ever be a household name? No. But will I ever be well-known within my field? Heck, I already am -- there are only 12 of us!"</p>
<p>For the life of me, I cannot remember his name. But if he's still in knot theory, I imagine this must be pretty sweet.</p>