Dr. Robert J. Lang

Monday, January 26, 2009 at 12:15pm

VCU Student Commons Theater

VCUarts students and faculty interested in participating can sign up in the Sculpture office at 1000 W. Broad St. or at the Art Foundation office at 609 Bowe St. by Thursday, Jan. 22  for a lottery drawing the next day.  Names chosen in the lottery will be given one of 24 spaces in the workshop.  All participants must bring their own scissors.

Dr. Robert J. Lang was recently profiled in the New Yorker Magazine as an American physicist and one of the foremost origami artists and theorists in the world. He is known for his complex and elegant designs. He has long been a student of the mathematics of origami and of using computers to study the theories behind origami. He has made great advances in real-world applications of origami to engineering problems.

Lang attended California Institute of Technology for his undergraduate work in electrical engineering, earned a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford, returning to Caltech to earn a Ph.D. in Applied Physics. He worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Quantum Electronics and does part-time laser consulting for Cypress Semiconductor.

Lang specializes in finding real-world applications for the various theories of origami he has developed. He worked with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where they are developing a powerful space telescope, with a 100-meter lens in the form of a thin membrane. Lang was engaged by the team to develop a way to fit the tremendous lens, known as the Eyeglass, into a small rocket in such a way that the lens can be unfolded in space and not suffer from any permanent marks or creases.

Lang’s lecture will establish the unexpected connections between mathematics, art, and technology inherent in origami. In addition, he will lead an origami workshop.

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