Benoit Mandelbrot Wiki
Benoit Mandelbrot Biography
Benoit Mandelbrot is the mathematician and father of fractal geometry, honored in the Google Doodle on November 20. Mandlebrot, a native of Warsaw, Poland, is also the namesake of the Mandelbrot ensemble. The doodle matches what would have been Mandelbrot’s 96th birthday. At the time of his death in 2010, Mandelbrot was a citizen of the United States and of France.
Mandelbrot’s work would resonate in areas as varied as medicine, finance, physics, and geometry.
According to the Google blog on Mandelbrot, he experienced a non-typical upbringing in his youth. Before the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the Mandelbrot family moved to France, settling in the town of Tulle south of Paris in 1936 when Mandelbrot was 11 years old. He was home schooled by his Paris-based uncle, Szolem Mandelbrojt. The couple spent most of their time playing chess together.
The New York Times reported in 2010 that Mandlebrot was born into a Lithuanian Jewish family. According to the Times, after moving to France, Mandelbrot worked in the repair of tools and took care of the horses.
1. Mandelbrot Married His Wife Aliette Kagan in Switzerland in 1955
Mandelbrot studied mathematical sciences at university and eventually earned a doctorate in the subject. Mandelbrot earned a master’s degree in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology and also studied at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1955, while working as a professor at the University of Lille, Mandelbrot married Aliette Kagan in Geneva, Switzerland. The couple would remain married until their death, according to The Guardian’s obituary.
In 1958, Mandelbrot began working for IBM at the Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York in 1958. Mandelbrot’s use of the latest IBM computer technology led to possibly his most famous work. Mandelbrot told Wired in a 1994 interview that he never used a computer at IBM during his early years with the tech giant. In part, because the technology didn’t yet exist to do Mandelbrot’s theories justice. He said: “I pushed my friends to develop special, improvised and bad devices in order to transform my geometric dreams. Before that, people didn’t believe in my hand drawings. Once a computer gives you results, it is credible. ”
2. Mandelbrot Coined the Phrase Fractals in 1975
In 1975, Mandelbrot coined the phrase fractals. Fractals are geometric shapes that repeat endlessly the more you look at them. The November 20 Google Doodle shows Mandelbrot standing in front of a blackboard while talking about fractals. The first O in Google is replaced with Koch’s snowflake. Koch’s snowflake is considered one of the first fractals dating back to 1904 before the word fractal was invented. Squiggle includes a fractal viewer where users can zoom in and out of a Mandelbrot set.
Mandelbrot laid out his ideas in his 1967 essay How Long Is the Coast of Britain? and the 1982 book The Fractal Geometry of Nature. Mandelbrot told The New York Times in 2010: “Here’s a question, a staple of elementary school geometry that, if you think about it, is impossible. The length of the coastline, in a sense, is infinite. ”According to Google, Mandelbrot continued to work at IBM for 35 years becoming an IBM Fellow and Fellow Emeritus.
3. Mandelbrot Became Yale’s Oldest Tenured Professor in 1999
Mandelbrot brought his work to Yale University in 1987 when he accepted a position as a mathematics professor. In 1999, Mandelbrot became the school’s oldest full professor, according to The New York Times. After his time at Yale, Mandelbrot also accepted a position as professor of mathematics practice at Harvard University and professor of mathematics at the École Polytechnique.
A few months before his death in 2010, Mandelbrot spoke at length about fractals during a TED talk. During his talk, Mandelbrot also spoke about “the art of roughness.” According to The Daily Telegraph’s 2010 obituary for Mandelbrot, “Before Mandelbrot, mathematicians believed that most of nature’s patterns were too complex, irregular, fragmented, and amorphous to be described mathematically.” The tribute describes Mandelbrot’s work as “the basis of chaos theory.”
4. Mandelbrot Succumbed to Pancreatic Cancer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2010
At the time of his death, Mandelbrot was survived by his wife Aliette Kagan and their two children, Didier and Laurent. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer and passed away in a hospice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Kagan told The New York Times in 2010. Laurent Mandelbrot is a professor of medicine at the University of Paris-Diderot, a position he has held since 2002 .
5. Mandelbrot Believed it Was Technology’s Role to Aid the Human Eye
Honors awarded to Mandelbrot include the 1993 Wolf Prize in physics and having an asteroid, 27500 Mandelbrot, named after him. His work inspired Artur C. Clarke’s book The Colors of Infinity: The Beauty, and the Sense of Fractals and Jonathan Coulton’s song, “Mandelbrot Set.” Mandelbrot also appeared in the 1995 British documentary The Colors of Infinity. Mandelbrot said in the film, via The Guardian:
For me, the first step with any difficult math problem was to code it and see what it looked like. We started programming Julia sets of all kinds. It was extraordinarily fun! And in particular, at one point, we are interested in the Julia set of the simplest possible transformation: Z goes to Z squared plus C [where C is a constant number.
So Z times Z plus C, and then the result of that becomes a new Z while C remains the same, to give a new Z times new Z plus C, and so on]. I took many photos of him. The first ones were very hard. But very crude images were not the answer. Each rough image asked a question. So I took another photo, another photo. And after a few weeks we had this strong and overwhelming impression that it was some kind of big bear that we had come across.
During his 1994 interview with Wired, Mandelbrot spoke of the influence Plato had on his work. Mandelbrot said: “Plato’s influence is extraordinarily strong. Plato was a tremendously brilliant mind, but as a mathematician, he was nobody. Plato believed that feelings, the eye, the feeling for formulas and geometric aspects were just bad in mathematics. “Mandelbrot went on to say that the role of technology is to help the human eye by saying,” The eye should use whatever help it can. get from microscopes, telescopes, infrared instruments and now the computer. “