Denise Halverson – Mentoring Programs

Origami and Design Mathematics

Undergraduate Research Opportunity

Fall Semester 2014

In this research experience, you will help lay the mathematical foundations needed to generalize the principles of origami design in order to be utilized in other settings, particularly the design of compliant mechanisms. Compliant mechanisms are mechanisms that gain their motion from the deflection of flexible components rather than from traditional motion element such as hinges and bearings. Compliant mechanisms are often highly desirable in design because of reduced part count, ease of manufacturing, compactness, low weight, low wear, reduced maintenance, and high precision. In many respects, origami represents the ultimate efficiency in creating sophisticated motions: it is constructed from a single, regular-shaped sheet of paper using one fabrication process (folding). The goal of this research to develop the mathematics needed to establish the principles that unite these two areas of design.

Application Information

If you are interested in applying for a position starting Fall 2014, please send the following application materials to Dr. Halverson at

  • A statement of interest or goals 
  • A resume (or curricular vitae) 
  • A transcript

Desirable qualifications include:

  1. Strong performance in math courses and completion of at least the Math 302/303 sequence or the Math 314/334/343 sequence 
  2. Strong writing skills
  3. Computational skills (although not absolutely necessary) 

The pay starts at $10/hr for up to 10 hours per week. For best consideration, please submit your application materials by Friday, August 15, 2014.