Monday, December 02, 2002

Math question of the day: "Suppose you are limited to figures bounded by straight lines (polygons) and you are allowed only one straight cut. Using a fold-and-cut process, what shapes can you produce?"

The surprising answer: "[A]fter an appropriate sequence of folds, any polygonal shape can be cut out of one sheet of paper by a single straight cut. In other words, one cut suffices -- whether the drawing consists of a single polygon, adjoining polygons, nested polygons, or an array of disjoint polygons." More information about this remarkable theorem is available here.