To actuate a rigid origami mechanism without the aid of human hands, we apply driving forces to the crease lines, such as with springs. We say these driving forces make the origami model self-fold. In doing this we often confront a problem where it is not possible to predict the way the springs will make the model fold from the unfolded state. In this talk we will develop a mathematical model of self-folding and describe how to design a driving force such that a given crease pattern will uniquely self-fold to a desired mode without getting caught in a bifurcation. We'll use linear algebra to find necessary conditions for self-foldability and see how it works on actual examples. This is joint work with Tomohiro Tachi (University of Tokyo), my students at Western New England University, and was partially supported by NSF grants EFRI-1240441 and DMS-1906202.

]]>Speaker biography:

Dr. Talitha Washington is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Howard University. She attended Spelman College (BSc), and the University of Connecticut (MSc,PhD). She was a VIGRE post-doctoral research associate at Duke University, and held assistant professorships at The College of New Rochelle and University of Evansville. She is currently interested in the applications of differential equations to problems in biology and engineering, as well as the development of nonstandard finite difference schemes to numerically solve dynamical systems.

Dr. Washington is also interested in education policy, especially advocating best practices for underrepresented students in STEM. She has been awarded a prestigious appointment by the NSF as the Division of Undergraduate Education Program Director for the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program. She received the 2019 BEYA STEM Innovator Award at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference.

She serves on the Council of the American Mathematical Society and has previously served on the Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics. She is active in programs led by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education, and Mathematical Biosciences Institute Research Experiences for Undergraduates. Dr. Washington has also taken up the cause of sharing the story of the previously unheralded, but vastly important, history of the first Black person to earn a PhD in mathematics (1925), Dr. Elbert Frank Cox. Her work has been shared on radio and television, often showing his mathematics that appears in the film *Hidden Figures. *Dr. Washington continues to be a motivational speaker who enjoys sharing her expertise on STEM diversity and applied mathematics to all audiences.

Speaker biography:

Dr. Talitha Washington is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Howard University. She attended Spelman College (BSc), and the University of Connecticut (MSc,PhD). She was a VIGRE post-doctoral research associate at Duke University, and held assistant professorships at The College of New Rochelle and University of Evansville. She is currently interested in the applications of differential equations to problems in biology and engineering, as well as the development of nonstandard finite difference schemes to numerically solve dynamical systems.

Dr. Washington is also interested in education policy, especially advocating best practices for underrepresented students in STEM. She has been awarded a prestigious appointment by the NSF as the Division of Undergraduate Education Program Director for the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program. She received the 2019 BEYA STEM Innovator Award at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference.

She serves on the Council of the American Mathematical Society and has previously served on the Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics. She is active in programs led by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education, and Mathematical Biosciences Institute Research Experiences for Undergraduates. Dr. Washington has also taken up the cause of sharing the story of the previously unheralded, but vastly important, history of the first Black person to earn a PhD in mathematics (1925), Dr. Elbert Frank Cox. Her work has been shared on radio and television, often showing his mathematics that appears in the film *Hidden Figures. *Dr. Washington continues to be a motivational speaker who enjoys sharing her expertise on STEM diversity and applied mathematics to all audiences.