Happy Birthday Benoit B Mandelbrot

Benoit B. Mandelbrot born this day in 1924 was a Polish-born French-American mathematician and polymath with broad interests in the practical sciences, especially regarding what he labeled as "the art of roughness" of physical phenomena and "the uncontrolled element in life". His math and geometry-centered research career included contributions to such fields as statistical physics, meteorology, hydrology, geomorphology, anatomy, taxonomy, neurology, linguistics, information technology, computer graphics, economics, geology, medicine, physical cosmology, engineering, chaos theory, econophysics, metallurgy, and the social sciences.

Building on the work of Robert W. Brooks and Peter Matelski (on Kleinian groups), Mandelbrot obtained high quality visualizations the set (see illustration) which eventually bore his name.

Images of the Mandelbrot set exhibit an elaborate and infinitely complicated boundary that reveals progressively ever-finer recursive detail at increasing magnifications (you can zoom in forever). The Mandelbrot set has become popular outside mathematics both for its aesthetic appeal and as an example of a complex structure arising from the application of simple rules.

And fractal mathematics can be used to describe the financial markets, a human heartbeat, earthquakes and can help render amazing computer graphics...

There is even a bonus Mandelbrot joke...

Q. What does the B in Benoit B Mandelbrot stand for?

A. Benoit B Mandelbrot

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