Person: Mandelbrot, Benoit
Benoit Mandelbrot was largely responsible for the present interest in Fractal Geometry. He showed how Fractals can occur in many different places in both Mathematics and elsewhere in Nature.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- This brought a reaction from Mandelbrot against pure mathematics, although as Mandelbrot himself says, he now understands how Hardy's deep felt pacifism made him fear that applied mathematics, in the wrong hands, might be used for evil in time of war.
- This was a time of extraordinary difficulty for Mandelbrot who feared for his life on many occasions.
- Mandelbrot now attributed much of his success to this unconventional education.
- After studying at Lyon, Mandelbrot entered the École Normale in Paris.
- After a very successful performance in the entrance examinations of the École Polytechnique, Mandelbrot began his studies there in 1944.
- There he studied under the direction of Paul Lévy who was another to strongly influence Mandelbrot.
- After completing his studies at the École Polytechnique, Mandelbrot went to the United States where he visited the California Institute of Technology.
- Mandelbrot returned to France in 1955 and worked at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.
- IBM presented Mandelbrot with an environment which allowed him to explore a wide variety of different ideas.
- Instead Mandelbrot chose his own very different course which, however, brought him back to Julia's paper in the 1970s after a path through many different sciences which some characterise as highly individualistic or nomadic.
- The decision by Mandelbrot to make contributions to many different branches of science was a very deliberate one taken at a young age.
- With the aid of computer graphics, Mandelbrot who then worked at IBM's Watson Research Center, was able to show how Julia's work is a source of some of the most beautiful fractals known today.
- The Mandelbrot set is a connected set of points in the complex plane.
- On 23 June 1999 Mandelbrot received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from the University of St Andrews.
- As well as IBM Fellow at the Watson Research Center Mandelbrot was Professor of the Practice of Mathematics at Harvard University.
- Mandelbrot's excursions into so many different branches of science was, as we mention above, no accident but a very deliberate decision on his part.
- Mandelbrot has received numerous honours and prizes in recognition of his remarkable achievements.
- For example, in 1985 Mandelbrot was awarded the Barnard Medal for Meritorious Service to Science.
Born 20 November 1924, Warsaw, Poland. Died 14 October 2010, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Analysis, Geometry, Origin Poland
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive