Thursday, August 16, 2007

MSL Camp at the Institute

For four weeks in August, selected students from around the South Sound participate in a four week summer camp with an important focus. The Math, Science & Leadership (MSL) program at the Institute of Technology is a multi-year program that begins with a summer camp for students who will be entering 7th - 11th grades here in the South Sound.

The goals of the program are to help students recognize and develop their potential to excel in math and science, ease the transition from middle school to high school and high school to college, encourage the pursuit of math and science electives at the high school level and to pursue postsecondary degrees in these fields.

Believe me, we need more scientists and engineers.

I spoke to a class of eighth graders in during the second week and enjoyed myself greatly. They were outgoing, respectful and interested in the discussion. My focus was on origami and its relation to mathematics. In particular I highlighted Robert Lang, a noted physicist and engineer, who has authored or co-authored over 80 technical publications and 40 patents on semiconductor lasers, optics, and integrated optoelectronics.

He has also presented several refereed technical papers on origami-math at mathematical and computer science professional meetings. His profile on CBS 60 minutes was shown during the discussion via the web in a smart classroom, and the feature noted the applications of origami to engineering problems ranging from air-bag design to expandable space telescopes.

And then of course we made cranes.

1 comment:

noisms said...

I once met a Maths Professor at the University of Manchester (UK) at a Japanese society event my fiance was involved in, and he'd devoted a lot of time and research to origami. I wish I could remember his name so that this information could be of any interest or value, but unfortunately I can't! But I vividly remember his passion when explaining how origami reveals the beauty in mathematics and vice versa.