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Origami Cranes Take Flight inside Lander Library

Faculty member Dr. Josie Ryan has kicked off Lander University's upcoming Focus on Japan celebration with a display of 1,000 origami cranes above the lobby of Lander's Jackson Library.

The actual week-long celebration does not begin until Monday, Sept. 19, but Ryan, an assistant professor of mathematics, personally folded the brightly colored paper cranes as part of the event.

Lander's International Program Advisory Council is sponsoring Focus on Japan, which is intended to promote international goodwill and friendship among the people of Japan and the United States. Many activities are scheduled during the week exploring Japan's history, culture, customs, education and business.

The cranes exhibit and all events during Focus on Japan Week are free and open to the public.

While origami can be considered a hobby, it also has important scientific applications. Ryan explained that origami can be used to build three-dimensional geometric objects call polyhedra. Mathematicians have also developed mathematical principles of origami, including using paper folds to solve equations.

Ryan became interested in origami about 12 years ago when she received a book on the subject as a Christmas gift. She said folding the cranes is a very tedious and time- consuming project.

According to Japanese legend, a person who folds 1,000 cranes has pleased the gods and will be granted a wish.