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RIP Benoît Mandelbrot [Oct. 16th, 2010|09:51 am]
The Jonathan Coulton song is no longer entirely accurate...

Benoît Mandelbrot passed away recently at age 85. He coined the term "fractal" and pushed the boundaries of iterative and chaotic mathematics.

    (from the article) "Dr. Mandelbrot traced his work on fractals to a question he first encountered as a young researcher: how long is the coast of Britain? The answer, he was surprised to discover, depends on how closely one looks. On a map an island may appear smooth, but zooming in will reveal jagged edges that add up to a longer coast. Zooming in further will reveal even more coastline.

    'Here is a question, a staple of grade-school geometry that, if you think about it, is impossible,' Dr. Mandelbrot [said]."

[User Picture]From: kinkyturtle
2010-10-16 09:01 pm (UTC)
Aww, sorry to hear that.

Although technically, the song never was entirely accurate; the mathematical formula given in the chorus describes not the Mandelbrot set, but a Julia set.
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[User Picture]From: russ_arulo
2010-10-17 06:08 pm (UTC)
I attended a talk he gave at Schnitzer Hall in Portland with my math club. We would have liked to have a meet and greet with him, but it was late and he wasn't up for it.
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