A Tribute To Benoît Mandelbrot

 

 

Benoît Mandelbrot passed away on October 14th.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, he is the father of fractal geometry.  He coined the term fractal and described the Mandelbrot set. (1)  

Most people who are familiar with fractals know them from the beautiful images that can be created by using fractal generating software such as this: 

Mandelbrot Set Fractal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fractal is basically a mathematical construct that consist of repeating patterns that stay consistent no matter how far in you zoom in on them.  Fractals describe many structures in nature such a snow flakes, coast lines, crystal structures and even the structure of plants like broccoli and cauliflower:

Fractal Broccoli

Fractals have application in a wide variety of area such as these listed on Wikipedia (2):

 

 

Benoît Mandelbrot was a visionary who transformed the way we look at our world.  His contributions to fractal art and science in general and mathematics in particular can not be overstated.  He was a true scientific pioneer which is something we see less and less of these days.  He will be sorely missed.

 

 (1) Wikipedia, Benoît Mandelbrot. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beno%C3%AEt_Mandelbrot

 

(2) Wikipedia, Fractal, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal#Applications

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