Algorithms For Present Wrapping
Written by Lucy Black   
Tuesday, 22 December 2015

How do you wrap yours? If you are a programmer, or I suppose a mathematician, you might just follow an algorithm. Here's a video that shows you how to wrap different shapes for that perfect package. 

Do you, like me, sort of take a run at it and just hope that the paper and the present come together in an aesthetically pleasing way? Some people have been rude enough to ask if I just throw the present and the paper then attempt to subdue them with lots of tape. I also have to agree that tape overuse is one of my failings when it comes to wrapping. I'm a bit like a spider wrapping its prey in silk thread.

Well this year everything is going to be different. After watching Katie Steckles perform wonders of mathematical wrapping I think I've got sufficient algorithmic wrapping loaded and ready to run to deal with any shape:



Wasn't she economical with the tape! Once piece for a whole package!

The diagonal wrapping technique is worth knowing about. It was discovered a few years back and quickly adopted by chocolate bar makers as a way of saving money on foil - it uses a lot less foil than the obvious way of wrapping. 



Apart from ensuring my presents look like something that Luke Skywalker might want to feel, it is also a reminder that algorithmic thought is everywhere. I also have to make sure that I put a selection of chocolates into gift boxes so they just fit. Thankfully I understand the knapsack problem and the greedy algorithms needed to solve it.

And they say you shouldn't teach programming in schools!

They deserve poorly wrapped presents.


Credit:The Man's Guide To Wrapping Presents

More Information

Gift wrapping algorithm

Related Articles

The Knapsack Problem 

$10K Contest To Solve A Problem Worth Millions       

Faster Jigsaw Solving


To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, sign up for our weekly newsletter, subscribe to the RSS feed and follow us on, Twitter, FacebookGoogle+ or Linkedin



2023 Hour Of Code Announced

New activities for this year's Hour of Code have been announced. The focus for 2023,"Creativity with AI", is designed to let students learn about computer science and artificial intelligence.

Google Resumes Transition To Manifest V3

Google has resumed the planned deprecation of Manifest V2, giving notice to Chrome extension developers that Manifest V2 extensions will be phased out as early as June 2024 in the prestable versions - [ ... ]

More News





or email your comment to:

Gift wrapping algorithm

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 December 2015 )