Benoit Mandelbrot: Who were the mathematicians and why is Google celebrating them?

Benoit Mandelbrot: Who were the mathematicians and why is Google celebrating them?

Benoit Mandelbrot's 96th Birthday

Widely known as the "father of fractal geometry", the Polish-born French American Benoit Mandelbrot is the subject of Google's latest Doodle.

While the mathematician, born 96 years ago in Warsaw, may be obscure to the non-mathematically-minded, his discoveries are widely known.

Todays doodle celebrates the 96th birthday of Polish-born, French and American mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, widely known as the father of fractal geometry. Mandelbrot pioneering research was instrumental in familiarizing the world with the powerful concept of fractals - randomly infinitely repeating nature and the mathematical shapes found in our everyday lives.

Mandelbrot was born on this day in 1924 in Warsaw, Poland to parents of Lithuanian-Jewish heritage. From being a local chess champion to a student of his father’s map collection, at a young age Mandelbrot was exposed to mathematics and geometry in everyday life. In 1936 the family emigrated to France, and Mandelbrot went on to pursue his education in both Paris and the United States, culminating in a doctorate in 1952.

In 1958 Mandelbrot began working at the Watson Research Center at IBM in New York, where his study of peculiar repetitions in signal noise formed an early inspiration for his groundbreaking work. An early pioneer of the use of computers for research, he later used a basic computerized typewriter to develop an algorithm that modeled landforms found in nature.

In 1975, he coined the famous term "fractal geometry" to describe these mathematical phenomena; With the release of his book "The Fractal Geometry of Nature" in 1982, Mandelbrot's work reached the world, which forever changed the field of applied mathematics.

Mandelbrot went on to receive countless awards for his work, including the Wolf Foundation Prize for Physics in 1993.

Happy birthday to Benoit Mandelbrot, a man whose curiosity helped to expand the way we see the world around us.

The term fractal geometry, coined in 1975, describes irregular-shaped repeated mathematical phenomena found throughout nature.

Think of snowflakes, ocean waves, DNA, crystals or pineapples.

He also worked at IBM in New York. An early pioneer in using computers, he developed an algorithm that modelled landforms found in nature. It led to his breakthrough and the publishing of his famous 1982 book The Fractal Geometry of Nature.

Mr. Mandelbrot was born to Lithuanian-Jewish parents and was a local chess champion due to his father's mathematics and geometry for collecting maps.

Son of Mr. Mandelbrot, dau. Didier Mandelbrot says, his father, inspired by curiosity wherever he could find him, was the chief architect of the world's understanding of the roughness of nature.

"With careful calculations, immense knowledge and the ability to see geometry in almost everything, he developed a new geometry, fractal geometry," he said.

Mr. Mandelbrot won several awards for his work, including the Wolf Foundation Prize for Physics in 1993.

He died in 2010 at the age of 85.