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Benoît Mandelbrot, Novel Mathematician, Dies at 85
New York Times ^ | October 17, 2010

Posted on 10/17/2010 8:52:50 AM PDT by La Lydia

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 Thursday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85...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...In a seminal 1982 book, “The Fractal Geometry of Nature,” 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.”

...Dr. Mandelbrot had a reputation as an outsider to the mathematical establishment. From his perch as a researcher for I.B.M. in New York, where he worked for decades before accepting a position at Yale, he noticed patterns that other researchers may have overlooked in their own data...

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....

In the 1950s, (he) proposed a simple but radical way to quantify the crookedness of such an object by assigning it a “fractal dimension,” an insight that has proved useful well beyond the field of cartography.

Over nearly seven decades, working with dozens of scientists, Dr. Mandelbrot contributed to the fields of geology, medicine, cosmology and engineering. He used the geometry of fractals to explain how galaxies cluster....and how mammalian brains fold as they grow, among other phenomena....

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chaos; fractal; mathematics
One of the geniuses of our age.
1 posted on 10/17/2010 8:52:56 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: La Lydia

Nobody knows the exact shape of his grave, but there is a algorithm to compute whether a given point is contained in it or not.


2 posted on 10/17/2010 8:58:18 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: La Lydia

Nobody knows the exact shape of his grave, but there is an algorithm to compute whether a given point is contained in it or not.


3 posted on 10/17/2010 8:58:39 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: La Lydia

4 posted on 10/17/2010 8:59:45 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: martin_fierro

Aren’t they lovely?


5 posted on 10/17/2010 9:01:26 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: La Lydia
Here's a fun little video if you want a quick musical introduction to his amazing work. RIP Mr. Mandelbrot.
6 posted on 10/17/2010 9:01:32 AM PDT by notfornothing
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To: La Lydia

Wrote a program years ago to draw his fractals. The are a thing of beauty.


7 posted on 10/17/2010 9:02:10 AM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: La Lydia

Song about Benoit:
Second song from the botton of this page (listen free)
http://www.jonathancoulton.com/store/downloads/


8 posted on 10/17/2010 9:02:53 AM PDT by woodchukwood ("The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency." -E. McCarthy)
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To: KosmicKitty

There used to be a beautiful Youtube video where fractals were drawn to the accompaniment of wonderful Vivaldi oboe music. Somehow, those seemed to be perfectly matched.


9 posted on 10/17/2010 9:03:57 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: woodchukwood

See post 6.:)


10 posted on 10/17/2010 9:06:17 AM PDT by notfornothing
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To: La Lydia

RIP to a great man—we need more of them.


11 posted on 10/17/2010 9:06:47 AM PDT by cgbg (Autumn recovery?--Lying is what they _do_.)
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To: notfornothing

Yes, but this link is to the acoustic version of the song. I prefer it to the grunge guitar version as the lyrics are more intelligible.

acoustic version is second song from bottom
http://www.jonathancoulton.com/store/downloads/


12 posted on 10/17/2010 9:12:13 AM PDT by woodchukwood ("The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency." -E. McCarthy)
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To: La Lydia
One of the geniuses of our age.

Well, if the measure of genius has something to do with how people misunderstand and misuse your work, yeah, he's up there.

But in that regard, Einstein's light years ahead of everyone else.

13 posted on 10/17/2010 9:16:36 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (defeat islam.)
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To: KosmicKitty
Stealing "art" and "science" from third-world cultures?

I kid you not.

A while back, when fractals were the big "pop" "journalism" topic, somebody was trying to make the case that there are complex fractal patterns in the cloth weavings of some African tribes, and it was really those peoples that "discovered" fractals, hence those cultures were on the forefront of modern mathematics.

As the Slimes article points out, his work was inspired by nature, so could the woven patterns in cloth just because the patterns were pleasing to the eye, not because of some innate mathematical inspiration.

I wonder if Mandelbrot's work influenced Hawking and Susskind - measuring the unmeasurable and what really happens to that "information"?

14 posted on 10/17/2010 9:25:19 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: martin_fierro

that is so cool!


15 posted on 10/17/2010 9:54:08 AM PDT by married21 (As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Different generation, waaay different age, different sciences. Or are we not allowed to admire people who aren’t Einstein? Sorry to have offended you by posting the obit of someone whom I admire and respect. I’ll check with you next time to make sure you approve. Oh, wait. Einstein is dead. So I guess we won’t be taking note of the passage of any other scientific or mathematical greats because you say so.


16 posted on 10/17/2010 10:28:06 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: Calvin Locke
I always thought that Indian paisley patterns look vaguely fractal-like, but it never occurred to me to claim that Hindu peasants in Indian had discovered fractals!

http://www.beautiful-bib-aprons.com/prod24.htm

17 posted on 10/17/2010 10:35:08 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: La Lydia
I read the book, made a lot sense when I thought about it. There was a weather scientist at MIT, name escapes me, who wrote one the same topic.
18 posted on 10/17/2010 10:43:40 AM PDT by Little Bill (Harry Browne is a Poofter.)
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To: La Lydia

I use his work to assist my trading of financial instruments. I believe he stumbled into the order God placed in the Universe. I will miss him.


19 posted on 10/17/2010 11:36:58 AM PDT by crghill (You can't put a condom on your soul. Viva Arizona!)
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To: La Lydia

The Black Swan:
The Impact of the Highly Improbable
 by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In that book, Taleb says that Mandelbot gave him books from his library . . .

20 posted on 10/17/2010 11:56:16 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: martin_fierro

The U L T I M A T E desktop/screensaver


21 posted on 10/17/2010 12:37:16 PM PDT by redhead (Abortion: The number one killer of human beings. Period.)
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To: La Lydia
Different generation, waaay different age, different sciences. Or are we not allowed to admire people who aren’t Einstein? Sorry to have offended you by posting the obit of someone whom I admire and respect. I’ll check with you next time to make sure you approve. Oh, wait. Einstein is dead. So I guess we won’t be taking note of the passage of any other scientific or mathematical greats because you say so.

Nice rant. I haven't been the target of such a barrage of non sequitirs since I don't know when...but it might have had something to do with a woman being tired of washing my socks.

That notwithstanding, I think you misunderstood my post. Much to your agitation.

Well, agitation might not be the right word...so I tried to find a synonym. Didn't mean to accelerate, agitate, amaze, anger, animate, annoy, arouse, astound, awaken, bother, chafe, delight, discompose, disturb, electrify, elicit, energize, evoke, feed the fire, fire, fluster, foment, galvanize, goad, incite, induce, inflame, infuriate, instigate, intensify, irritate, jar, jolt, kindle, madden, mock, move, offend, precipitate, provoke, quicken, rouse, start, stimulate, stir up, taunt, tease, thrill, titillate, touch off, vex, wake up, waken, warm, whet, work up, worry, aflame, agitated, animated, annoyed, aroused, awakened, beside oneself, charged, delighted, discomposed, disconcerted, disturbed, eager, enthusiastic, feverish, fired up, frantic, high*, hot and bothered, hot*, hyperactive, hysterical, in a tizzy, inflamed, juiced up, jumpy, keyed up, moved, nervous, on edge, on fire, overwrought, passionate, piqued, provoked, roused, ruffled, steamed up, stimulated, stirred, thrilled, tumultous/tumultuous, wild, wired, worked up, zipped up, add fuel, agitate, arouse, enkindle, excite, expand, extend, impassion, increase, rouse, stimulate, stir up, whip up, work up, addle, agitate, bewilder, bother, confound, confuse, craze*, discombobulate, discompose, disquiet, distract, disturb, excite, flip*, flurry, frustrate, fuddle, get to, hassle, heat*, hurry, make nervous, make waves, muddle, mystify, nonplus, perplex, psych, puzzle, rattle, ruffle, spook, stir up, throw off balance, unhinge, work up, agitated, angry, at wits' end, berserk, beside oneself, corybantic, crazy, delirious, deranged, distraught, excited, flipped out, fraught, freaked out, frenetic, frenzied, furious, hectic, hot and bothered, hot under the collar, hyper, in a stew, in a tizzy, insane, keyed up, mad, out of control, overwrought, rabid, raging, raving, shook up, spazzed out, unglued, unscrewed, unzipped, violent, weird, weirded out, wigged out, wild, blow a gasket, blow one's mind, blow one's stack, blow one's stack, blow one's top, blow one's top, break down, come unglued, crack up, flip one's lid, flip out, flip out, fly off the handle, fly off the handle, freak out, go ape, go ballistic, go ballistic, go bananas, go berserk, go crazy, go crazy, go haywire, go nuts, go nuts, go off the deep end, go off the deep end, hit the ceiling, hit the ceiling, lose control of oneself, lose it, lose one's composure, lose one's cool, lose one's mind, lose one's mind, lose one's temper, lose one's temper, wig out, wig out, work oneself up, accomplish, achieve, bear, beget, breed, bring about, bring to pass, cause, develop, effect, engender, form, found, get up, give birth to, give rise to, hatch, inaugurate, induce, initiate, institute, introduce, make, multiply, muster, occasion, originate, parent, perform, procreate, propagate, provoke, reproduce, set up, spawn, whip up, work up, animate, annoy, arouse, bully, coerce, drive, encourage, excite, exhort, fire up, force, goose, harass, hound, impel, inspirit, instigate, irritate, key up, lash, move, needle, press, prick*, prod, prompt, propel, provoke, push, put up to, rowel, sic, sound, spark*, spur, stimulate, sting*, tease, thrust, trigger, turn on, urge, whip*, work up, worry, bear, brainstorm*, breed, bring forth, brood, cause, come up with, conceive, concoct, contrive, cook up, design, devise, dream up, engender, formulate, generate, get up, give birth, incubate, induce, invent, lay eggs, make, make up, occasion, originate, parent, plot, prepare, procreate, produce, project, provoke, scheme, set, sire, spawn, spitball, think up, throw together, trump up, whip up, work up, agitated, berserk, beside oneself, blazing, carried away, convulsive, crazed, crazy, delirious, distracted, distraught, emotional, fiery, frantic, frenzied, fuming, furious, impassioned, impetuous, in a fit, incensed, irrepressible, mad, maddened, nervous, neurotic, overwrought, panic-stricken, passionate, possessed, rabid, raging, rampant, raving, seething, spasmodic, tempestuous, turbulent, uncontrollable, uncontrolled, unnerved, unrestrained, uproarious, vehement, violent, wild, worked up…you.

22 posted on 10/17/2010 1:50:51 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (defeat islam.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Oh! You can copy and paste! Clever devil.


23 posted on 10/17/2010 3:38:21 PM PDT by La Lydia
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