Saturday, October 16, 2010

Benoît Mandelbrot, 1924 – 2010


As I described in my post about him from 2008, Benoît Mandelbrot was not an artist, but a mathematician.

His work, however, has enabled others, from dedicated computer artists to dabblers, to create the multitude of stunning images we know as ‘fractals”. In the process, he deepened our understanding of nature and the concept of infinity.

Benoît Mandelbrot died this morning at the age of 86.

There is a bio on Wikipedia, from which the images above were taken. They are part of a set of images in which each is a magnified crop from the last (I’ve skipped some in the sequence above).

For more, see my previous post on Benoit Mandelbrot, in which I give a better overview of Mandelbrot and his contribution, a brief explanation of fractals and links to images and other resources.

[Via Kottke]

5 thoughts on “Benoît Mandelbrot, 1924 – 2010

  1. David Teter

    Fascinating stuff it is… I had seen his complex images before I knew what they were and could not imagine creating them. Then I saw the PBS show on him and it all came to light. It explains so much.

    In fact we could not have ‘antennaeless’ cell phones without his fractal geometry. If you can watch the PBS show I highly recommend it. It got me thinking and especially seeing in a whole new way.

    Sad he is gone, but look what he left us!

  2. Chris Dunn

    My condolences to the Mandelbrot family.

    As strange as this may seem, the first group of images remind me of what the eye sees when closed. My biology is poor but maybe it is something to do with the iris/retina adjusting?

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