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Benoit Mandelbrot

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Benoit B. Mandelbrot 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". He referred to himself as a "fractalist" and is recognized for his contribution to the field of fractal geometry, which included coining the word "fractal", as well as developing a theory of "roughness and self-similarity" in nature.

Mandelbrot at a TED conference in 2010

Benoit Mandelbrot

Mandelbrot speaking about the Mandelbrot set, during his acceptance speech for the Légion d'honneur in 2006

A Mandelbrot set

Fractal

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In mathematics, a fractal is a geometric shape containing detailed structure at arbitrarily small scales, usually having a fractal dimension strictly exceeding the topological dimension. Many fractals appear similar at various scales, as illustrated in successive magnifications of the Mandelbrot set. This exhibition of similar patterns at increasingly smaller scales is called self-similarity, also known as expanding symmetry or unfolding symmetry; if this replication is exactly the same at every scale, as in the Menger sponge, the shape is called affine self-similar. Fractal geometry lies within the mathematical branch of measure theory.

Mandelbrot set at islands

The Mandelbrot set: its boundary is a fractal curve with Hausdorff dimension 2. (Note that the colored sections of the image are not actually part of the Mandelbrot Set, but rather they are based on how quickly the function that produces it diverges.)

Mandelbrot set with 12 encirclements

2x 120 degrees recursive IFS