By Laurel Bennett, Features Editor
When students and faculty members walk into the main lobby of Glatfelter Hall, there are now 1,000 paper cranes hanging from the ceiling above. Visiting professor of mathematics Nathan Shank is the driving force behind the display.
Shank teaches MATH 103, and students in his two sections of the class were responsible for folding the cranes, which are filled with deep symbolism.
“The 1,000 cranes are traditionally a symbol about hope, healing and peace with roots in Asian cultures,” Shank explained.
The 1,000 cranes display allowed students in the course to apply mathematics in a different manner than what is typically expected in a classroom setting.
“For the MATH 103 course, it was more a way to show that mathematics is relevant, beautiful and intersects many other areas of studies,” Shank said. “As the posters show, the art of paper folding has a rich history, displays beautiful patterns, has some deep mathematical properties, has many amazing applications and can inspire others.”
MATH 103 student Bennett Freeman ’26 enjoyed demonstrating how mathematics can be applied unconventionally. Freeman explained the process of creating the display and stated, “We made posters researching various facets of origami and obviously we folded a lot of paper cranes.”
He continued, “We had a lot of fun, especially seeing who could create the most cranes in a given class.”
Students who were not involved in the folding of the cranes still appreciate the beauty and history of the project.
Kathryn Hopsicker ’24 shared, “While I am not in the MATH 103 course, I think the display is awesome, and it is evident that a lot of time went into preparing the display and folding everything properly.”
Ultimately, the 1,000 crane display has been a great success and has added a unique dimension to Glatfelter Hall.
“My favorite part is seeing smiles when people see it; lifting their heads when they walk in the building, taking a few minutes to read a poster, or taking an interesting picture to share with others,” Shank concluded.