Back in the days before smart phones with GPS functions became ubiquitous we had maps. Remember how hard it was to fold them? Mathematicians feel your pain; they have struggled with map folding problems for generations. But a recent insight by a maths student suggests there might be another way to approach these problems, one that makes an unlikely connection between combinatorics, origami and engineering.
Suppose you have an infinitely large sheet of paper (mathematicians refer to this hypothetical object as the plane). You also have a number of different colours - pots of paint, perhaps. Your aim is to colour every point on the plane using the colours available. That is, each point must be assigned one colour.