The New Math of Wrinkling Patterns

The New Math of Wrinkling Patterns

A few minutes into a 2018 talk at the University of Michigan, Ian Tobasco picked up a large piece of paper and crumpled it into a seemingly disordered ball of chaos. He held it up for the audience to see, squeezed it for good measure, then spread it out again. “I get a wild mass of folds that emerge, and that’s the puzzle,” he said. “What selects this pattern from another, more orderly pattern?” He then held up a second …