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Old 10-16-2010, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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“He Gave Us Order Out of Chaos” — R.I.P. Benoît Mandelbrot, 1924-2010

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Benoît Mandelbrot, Novel Mathematician, Dies at 85
By JASCHA HOFFMAN

Benoît B. Mandelbrot, a maverick mathematician who developed an innovative theory of roughness and applied it to physics, biology, finance and many other fields, died on Thursday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85.

His death was caused by pancreatic cancer, his wife, Aliette, said. He had lived in Cambridge.

Dr. Mandelbrot coined the term “fractal” to refer to a new class of mathematical shapes whose uneven contours could mimic the irregularities found in nature.

“Applied mathematics had been concentrating for a century on phenomena which were smooth, but many things were not like that: the more you blew them up with a microscope the more complexity you found,” said David Mumford, a professor of mathematics at Brown University. “He was one of the primary people who realized these were legitimate objects of study.”

In a seminal book, “The Fractal Geometry of Nature,” published in 1982, Dr. Mandelbrot defended mathematical objects that he said others had dismissed as “monstrous” and “pathological.” Using fractal geometry, he argued, the complex outlines of clouds and coastlines, once considered unmeasurable, could now “be approached in rigorous and vigorous quantitative fashion.”
Find a fractal and post it.

Damn, he was someone that really influenced how I see the world. As a kid I was already seeing the world ala the matrix. I saw the binary all over the world.

When I got my 386, I started making factals, using Fractint (see that page it's like from old MOSIAC browsing days!) It would take the better part of a day to render out some image. When I got my 486 with a math coprocessor, it was just a few hours. Today, it's finished as fast as the screen can illuminate it.

Madelbrot gave me something different than no other person had ever been able to do, make me appreciate math as art.


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Old 10-17-2010, 03:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you read the Black Swan by Nassim Taleb?
It's related to Mandelbrot's work and he is cited repeatedly by the author. That book was (is) a game changer for me.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sad to hear of his passing.

....Glad to see others appreciated his "science" and insights. Oddly, I just saw a special about him and his fractals, produced for NOVA a few weeks ago.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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this is cool.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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http://www.warseer.com/images/articl...l_5f691113.jpg

the emperor gives order and smites chaos! if you get this, you are a nerd
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