Benoit B. Mandelbrot

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Mandelbrot, Benoît B.

(bənwä` măn`dəlbrō', Fr. mäNdĕlbrô`), 1924–2010, French-American mathematician, b. Warsaw, Poland, Ph.D. Univ. of Paris, 1952. Largely self-taught and considered a maverick in the field of mathematics, he was uncomfortable with the rigorously pure logical analysis prescribed by Nicolas BourbakiBourbaki, Nicolas,
pseudonym under which a group of 20th cent. mathematicians has written a series of treatises on pure mathematics. The mathematicians have all been associated with the Ecole Normale Supérieure
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 and relied instead on his talent for visualizing natural phenomena. A pioneer of chaos theorychaos theory,
in mathematics, physics, and other fields, a set of ideas that attempts to reveal structure in aperiodic, unpredictable dynamic systems such as cloud formation or the fluctuation of biological populations.
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, he conceived, developed, and applied fractal geometryfractal geometry,
branch of mathematics concerned with irregular patterns made of parts that are in some way similar to the whole, e.g., twigs and tree branches, a property called self-similarity or self-symmetry.
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, which is used to find order in complex, apparently erratic shapes and processes. His work has had implications for and influence in such diverse fields as geometry, medicine, cosmology, economics, and computer graphics. Mandelbrot worked at IBM from 1958, holding an emeritus position there from 1993, and taught at Yale from 1987, where he was Sterling Professor of Mathematics (1999–2004). He wrote The Fractal Geometry of Nature (1982) and other works.


See his The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick (2012).

Benoit B. Mandelbrot