Friday, October 26, 2012

Mandelbrot On the Bookshelf

 "Pathological monsters! cried the terrified mathematician
Every one of them is a splinter in my eye
I hate the Peano Space and the Koch Curve
I fear the Cantor Ternary Set And the Sierpinski Gasket makes me want to cry
And a million miles away a butterfly flapped its wings
On a cold November day a man named Benoit Mandelbrot was born
"  --Jonathan Coulton

If the life of Benoit Mandelbrot interests you then a new book coming out shortly will be of note, a posthumous autobiography, entitled "The Fractalist." [Mandelbrot died just 2 years ago this month.]
I haven't read it, but from what I can tell, if you're interested primarily in the details of Mandelbrot's mathematical contributions this volume may not be a good choice, but if you're interested in his life this is a definite read:

More on Mandelbrot here: [biographical] [TED Talk] [obituary]

And hey, STILL a wonderful math video (the Mandelbrot Set zoomed to Jonathan Coulton's rousing lyrics):

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