Math Science Center Observes Death of Mandelbrot
Students and faculty at the Math Science Innovation Center noted the passing of a mathematician who died at age 84 over the weekend. The father of fractal geometry.
He was known simply as Mandelbrot.
Derrer: The person that basically brought fractals to the forefront of conversation, of technology. He made it so that we could use it.
Andrew Derrer, a math teacher himself, directs K-12 special programs at the Center. He noted that Mandelbrot encouraged them as they set up their fractal keys website. Fractalkeys.info, is a treasure trove for math students.
Derrer: They get to learn about fractals, they get to see different places they're used in architecture and art, they get to actually see where the math applies in real-life situations.
It was Dr. Mandelbrot, working as a research fellow at IBM in the 50s, who gave a name to the mathematical forms and came up with geometry to examine natural shapes formerly considered immeasurable.
Derrer: Fractal is from the Latin-based "fractis," to break, which means part, and that's what fractions do, they break up into pieces that are the same as the original piece.
Kind of a mathematical magnifying glass.
Derrer: You zoom in, and you see the same thing that you started with; you zoom in farther and it doesn't get more complicated, doesn't get less complicated, it remains equally complicated, and those aren't my words, that's Dr. Mandelbrot.
Mandelbrot retired from Yale University in 2005.
John Ogle, WCVE News