# Thomas C Hull**Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics**

## Spotlight

### F&M Math Professor Theorizes an Origami Computer

Recent research by Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics Thomas Hull was the subject of a feature article in Quanta Magazine. The story, titled "How to Build an Origami Computer" covers a collaboration between Hull and mathematics professor Inna Zakharevich from Cornell University where they proved that origami, the historically Japanese art of paper folding, is "Turing complete." This means that, in theory, one could make a functioning modern computer by folding a piece of paper.As the article states, "An origami computer would be massively inefficient and impractical. But in principle, if you had a very large piece of paper and lots of time on your hands, you could use origami to calculate arbitrarily many digits of π, determine the optimal way to route every delivery driver in the world, or run a program to predict the weather."

Quanta Magazine is an award-winning online scientific news publication run by the Simons Foundation that is highly read in math, science, and education circles.

In addition to being an art form practiced both seriously and recreationally all over the world, origami is being studied by scientists, mathematicians, and engineers for applications in robotics, materials, and architecture. Hull currently has an NSF grant to work on origami-math which he uses to fund research with F&M students. He states, "I'm honored to have our work featured in Quanta Magazine and appreciate the attention it brings to the excellent work done by the F&M Mathematics Department." (Image credit: Kristina Armitage/Quanta Magazine)

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## Biography

Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, *Franklin & Marshall College*, Lancaster, PA, 2023-present

Project Associate Professor, Graduate of Arts & Sciences, *University of Tokyo*, Tokyo, Japan, 2015

Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, *Western New England University*, Springfield, MA, 2008-2023

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, *University of Cincinnati*, Cincinnati, OH, 2002-2003

Assistant and Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, *Merrimack College*, North Andover, MA 1997-2008

## Education

Ph.D. in Mathematics, *University of Rhode Island*, Kingston, RI 1997

M.S. in Mathematics, *University of Rhode Island*, Kingston, RI 1992

B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy, *Hampshire College*, MA 1991

## More About Professor Hull

### Books

*Origametry: Mathematical Methods in Paper Folding,*Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK (2020).

*Project Origami: Activities for Exploring Mathematics 2nd edition*, CRC Press/AK Peters, Wellesley, MA (2012).

### Publications

*Physical Review E*, Vol. 106, No. 5 (2022), 055001–055011.

• Maximal origami flip graphs of flat-foldable vertices: properties and algorithms, with Manuel Morales, Sarah Nash, and Natalya Ter-Saakov,

*Journal of Graph Algorithms and Applications*, Vol. 26, No. 4 (2022), 503–517.

• Rigid folding equations of degree-6 origami vertices, with Johnna Farnham and Aubrey Rumbolt,

*Proceedings of the Royal Society A*, Vol. 478, No. 2260 (2022), 20220051 (19 pages).

• Folding points to a point and lines to a line, with H. Akitaya, B. Ballinger, E. Demaine, and C. Schmidt, in He, Sheehy eds.,

*Proceedings of the 33rd Canadian Conference on Computational Geometry (CCCG 2021)*, 271–278.

• Counting locally flat-foldable origami configurations via 3-coloring graphs, with A. Chiu, W. Hoganson, and S. Wu,

*Graphs and Combinatorics*, Vol. 37, No. 1 (2021), 241–261.

• Face flips in origami tessellations, with H. Akitaya, V. Dujmović, D. Eppstein, K. Jain, and A. Lubiw,

*Journal of Computational Geometry*, Vol. 11, No. 1 (2020), 397–417.

• Rigid foldability is NP-hard, with H. Akitaya, E. Demaine, T. Horiyama, J. Ku, and T. Tachi,

*Journal of Computational Geometry*, Vol. 11, No. 1 (2020), 93–124.

*Nature Physics*, Vol. 14, 2018, 811–815.

• Self-foldability of monohedral quadrilateral origami tessellations, with T. Tachi,

*Origami7: Proc. of the 7th International Meeting on Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education*, Tarquin (2018), 521–532.

• Rigid foldability of the augmented square twist, with M. Urbanski,

*Origami7: Proc. of the 7th International Meeting on Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education*, Tarquin (2018), 533–543.

• Self-foldability of rigid origami, with T. Tachi, ASME

*Journal of Mechanisms & Robotics*, Vol. 9, No. 2 (2017), 021008-021017.

• Box Pleating is Hard, with H. Akitaya, K. Cheung, E. Demaine, T. Horiyama, J. Ku, T. Tachi, R. Uehara, in Akiyama et al. (eds)

*Discrete and Computational Geometry and Graphs. JCDCGG 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science*, Vol. 9943, Springer (2016), 167-179.

• Rigid origami vertices: conditions and forcing sets, with Z. Abel, J. Cantarella, E. Demaine, D. Eppstein, J. Ku, R. Lang, and T. Tachi,

*Journal of Computational Geometry*, Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016), 171–184.

*Nature Materials*, Vol. 14, (2015), 389–393.

*Advanced Materials*, Vol. 27, No. 1 (2015), 79–85.

• Locked rigid origami with multiple degrees of freedom, with Z. Abel and T. Tachi, in Miura et al. (eds.),

*Origami6: Proc. of the 6th International Meeting on Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education*, AMS (2015), 131–138.

• Rigid flattening of polyhedra with slits, with Z. Abel, R. Connelly, E. D. Demaine, M. L. Demaine, A. Lubiw, and T. Tachi, in Miura et al. (eds.),

*Origami6: Proc. 6th Int. Meeting on Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education*, AMS (2015), 109–117.

• Symmetric colorings of polypolyhedra, with sarah-marie belcastro,

*Origami6: Proc. of the 6th International Meeting on Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education*, AMS (2015), 21–31.

• Coloring connections with counting mountain-valley assignments,

*Origami6: Proc. of the 6th International Meeting on Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education*, AMS (2015), 3–10.

• Minimum forcing sets for Miura folding patterns, with B. Ballinger, M. Damian, D. Eppstein, R. Flatland, and J. Ginepro,

*ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA15)*, (2015), 136–147.

*Science*, Vol. 345, No. 6197 (2014), 647–650.

• Counting Miura-ori foldings, with J. Ginepro,

*Journal of Integer Sequences*, Vol. 17 (2014), Article 14.10.8.

• The flat vertex fold sequences, with E. Chang,

*Origami5: Fifth International Meeting of Origami in Science, Mathematics, and Education*, Lang et al. ed., A K Peters (2011), 599–607.

• Solving cubics with creases: the work of Beloch and Lill,

*American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 118, No. 4 (2011), 307–315.

• Configuration spaces for flat vertex folds, in

*Origami4: Fourth International Meeting of Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education*, Lang ed., AK Peters, (2009), 361–370.

• Folding regular heptagons, in

*Homage to a Pied Puzzler*, Pegg et al., ed., AK Peters (2009), 181–191.

*Math Horizons*, February (2006), 10–12.

• Counting mountain-valley assignments for flat folds,

*Ars Combinatorica*, Vol. 67 (2003), 175–188.

• The combinatorics of flat folds: a survey, in

*Origami3: Third International Meeting of Origami Science, Mathematics, and Education*, Hull ed., A K Peters (2002), 29–38.

*Math Horizons*, February (2002), 22–24.

• Modelling the folding of paper into three dimensions using affine transformations, with s-m. belcastro,

*Linear Algebra and its Applications*, Vol. 348 (2002), 273–282.

• Classifying frieze patterns without using groups, with s-m. belcastro,

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 33, No. 2 (2002), 93–98.

• Defective list colorings of planar graphs, with N. Eaton,

*Bulletin of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications*, Vol. 25 (1997), 79–87.

• A note on “impossible” paperfolding,

*American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 103, No. 3 (1996), 242–243.

• On the mathematics of flat origamis,

*Congressus Numerantium*, Vol. 100 (1994), 215–224.

### Grants & Awards

Configuration Spaces of Flexible Polyhedral Surfaces

and has been in the past,

EFRI-ODISSEI: Mechanical Meta-Materials from Self-Folding Polymer Sheets

### Sampling of Courses Taught

**MAT 109 Calculus I**- Introduction to the basic concepts of calculus and their applications. Functions, derivatives, and limits; exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions; the definite integral and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

**MAT 110 Calculus II**- Techniques of integration, applications of integration, separable first-order differential equations, convergence tests for infinite series, Taylor polynomials and Taylor series.

**MAT 211 Introduction to Higher Mathematics**- A course designed as a transition from calculus to advanced mathematics courses. Emphasis on developing conjectures, experimentation, writing proofs, and generalization. Topics will be chosen from number theory, combinatorics and graph theory, polynomials, sequences and series, and dynamical systems, among others.

**MAT 229**

**Linear Algebra and Differential Equations**- Systems of linear equations and matrices, vector spaces, linear transformations, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, nth order linear differential equations, systems of first-order differential equations.

**MAT 439 Nonlinear Dynamics**- Analysis of nonlinear systems of differential equations with a focus on trajectories of solutions in the phase plane. Topics include bifurcations, limit cycles, and transition to chaos. Applications to physics, biology, economics, and other fields will be explored.