Scientific American

Fractals, Chaos and Other Mathematical Visions Reside on The Islands of Benoit Mandelbrot

December 21, 2012

Online news story and video“Mandelbrot, a Polish-born French and American mathematician, invented the word “fractal” in 1975 to describe complex shapes that remain so at different levels of scale and show self-similar patterns. Fractal geometry is often found in the jagged edges of nature—ferns, clouds and mountains, for example—but the artificial fractal images that most resemble these forms are produced by trial and error. Some computer-generated fractal mountains do not resemble any rocky spires of earthly geology—they are crazed pinnacles of implausibility.”

Photo by Marissa Fessenden