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"PopSci's Brilliant 10," by Laurie Goldman. Popular Science, September 2003.
Erik Demaine (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is profiled in themagazine's second annual listing of "superstar young scientists doingmind-boggling work in diverse, sometimes brand-new fields." Demaine,home-schooled as a youth, became an assistant professor at MIT at the age of20. He is now a leader in the field of computational origami, a discipline thatcombines computer science and mathematics. The profile notes that computationalorigami has practical applications as well as recreational value: it has helpedengineeers figure out how to unfold a telescope in outer space, how to stowautomobile airbags, and possibly how proteins are folded. Demaine is quoted onthe joys of his work: "You just look at something you normally see in adifferent way and think, Gee, I wonder if there's some mathematics behindthat?"
--- Annette Emerson