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Monday, August 22, 2011

Paper Folding, a Student, and a Formula

Contrary to the popular notion that no piece of paper could be folded in half more than 8 times, high school student Britney Gallivan demonstrated (almost 10 years ago) that she could do it 9, 10, 11, AND 12 times, and developed the mathematical formula that calculates the limit to the number of possible folds for a given shape of paper:

http://pomonahistorical.org/12times.htm

Addendum: today Clifford Pickover tweeted a link to an earlier report of James Tanton's students accomplishing a 13TH FOLD of 13,000 ft. of toilet paper (tuh-duhhh!!):

http://tinyurl.com/3ffqgtl

(...hmmm, might be a good time to buy some stock in Charmin, in case this sets off a national competition!) 

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