Why Origami Is Critical to New Drugs

It's no surprise that Erik Demaine counts juggling among his hobbies. The 24-year-old--a home-schooled child prodigy who became M.I.T.'s youngest professor ever at age 20--picks off one arcane math problem after another. "I work on anything I consider fun," he says. "I'm a geek." Demaine, who has already co-written more than 100 papers, specializes in the computational theory of folded structures, most notably the mathematics underlying origami.

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