Mathigami is a way of exploring mathematical concepts through the art of origami.

The Mathigami Project is a pilot program created by University of San Diego (USD) in collaboration with a local community center.  The program is focused on developing an interest in and love of mathematics. As part of Project Mathigami, college students explore mathematical concepts with children through the creation of origami models. We aspire to instill in young children the belief that they can succeed in mathematics and the disposition to approach challenges with curiosity and perseverance. We want them to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and to become adept at communicating their reasoning and understanding the reasoning of others. The power of mathematical thinking will be beneficial in any path they choose and will open up opportunities for them to pursue careers in STEM fields.

In this pilot stage, USD students volunteer to mathematically engage over one hundred third through fifth graders in underserved communities. Project Mathigami activities foster opportunities for real-life mathematical experiences and help students recognize the myriad applications of both mathematics and origami.

Common reactions to mathematics include fear, feelings of inadequacy, and aversion. In the United States, only 17 percent of 12th graders are both proficient in mathematics and have an interest in pursuing a career in the STEM fields--mathematics, science, engineering or technology.[1] And despite the high unemployment rate in America, there are almost 600,000 unfilled jobs because there aren’t enough workers with expertise in STEM.[2]

Our goal is simple. We want people to SMILE when they hear the word "Mathematics"; to see mathematics as powerful and beautiful, and to approach mathematical challenges with confidence, leading to greater mathematical capability. Mathigami is our way to contribute to what needs to be a worldwide effort at all levels. We believe that approaching mathematics through the lens of origami will engage more children in mathematics, including some who may have been lost through the conventional methods.


Many thanks to all our supporters. Here is a list of our sponsors:


Here’s where you come in. We need you! Please:

  1. Spread the word that mathematics is powerful, beautiful and achieveable.

  2. Contribute Financially:

    Your financial support will:

    • Your financial support will help us establish a Project Mathigami Center where educators will have access to workshops and resources to help their students explore mathematics through origami.

    Click the donate button to make a tax-deductible donation:


    Or send a check (payable to USD) to:

    Project Mathigami
    Dean’s Office
    College of Arts and Sciences
    University of San Diego
    5998 Alcala Park
    San Diego, CA 92110

  3. Help spread the word about Mathigami! Share with your friends through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram, etc.

To learn more or get involved, contact:

Paper Crane Level

Up to $24.99

All contributors will be gratefully acknowledged on our website.

Bamboo Crane Level


Donate at the Bamboo Crane Level or above and you will also receive a Mathigami button that will show your support for our project.

Pearl Crane Level


Support this project at the Pearl Crane Level or above and you will also receive an official Mathigami t-shirt that tells the world you are a mathematics lover as well as a supporter of the arts, sciences, and education.

Bronze Crane Level


Collaborate with a donation at the Bronze Crane Level or above and we will also make, just for you, a handcrafted origami paper and resin pin.

Silver Crane Level


Donate at the Silver Crane Level or above and also receive a digital copy of the Director’s Cut of our Documentary Video.

Golden Crane Level


Contribute at the Golden Crane Level or above and we will also write your special message on a Japanese prayer plaque to be left at a temple in Japan. We will send you a digital photo to treasure.

Platinum Crane Level


Donate at the Platinum Crane Level or above and we will also place your logo or name on our Mathigami website and documentary.

Diamond Crane Level


Contribute at the Diamond Crane Level or above and you will also be named as a producer of the documentary on the film credits.

Peace Crane Level


A Japanese legend has it that a wish goes along with the folding of 1,000 paper cranes. The lucky and generous patrons who contribute at the Peace Crane Level or above will also receive a piece of framed artwork made up of 1,000 paper cranes and perhaps, will be granted a wish.

For gifts above $10,000, please contact Perla Myers at for exclusive recognition opportunities to show our appreciation and involve you in the work of the program.

Cranes on Tree photo credit: Ryan Blystone, University of San Diego
Origami Heart designs by Francis Ow