by Dave Kellam

Mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot has passed away at age 85. He only received tenure at Yale ten years ago.

Dr. Mandelbrot coined the term “fractal” to refer to a new class of mathematical shapes whose uneven contours could mimic the irregularities found in nature.

Here’s a photoset with a few examples of his work, or you could watch this amazing video of the Mandelbrot set in action. Rudy Rucker offers a tribute to Mandelbrot with some more examples and memories of a meeting with the man.

Update:From the BBC, How Mandelbrot’s fractals changed the world.

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