CAMBRIDGE, MA – Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry, passed away into infinity.

Benoit Mandelbrot passed away a few days ago on October 14, 2010. Since 1987, Mandelbrot was a member of the Yale’s mathematics department.  He was a Jewish genius who fled the Nazis.

He created the field of fractal mathematics. He didn’t discover the basic maths of fractals, but he took an obscure, unfashionable concept, that you can explore the space between two dimensions and three dimensions, and showed its fundamental role in the fabric of the world.

You can read many fine explanations of what fractals and Mandelbrot’s other work have done for mathematics. You can also read how he did it, eschewing the rigorous path of carefully nuanced proof in favour of the intuitive and practical.

Most importantly, millions kids and young adults stopped doing drugs because of Mandelbrot.  Instead of snorting cocaine, smoking pot or injecting heroin, kids just turned on their computers and stared at fractals – for hours, even days.

“I couldn’t go a day without some fractals, man.  I still can’t,”  said former stoner,  Cameron Body.  “Man, if I go too long without fractals, I start seriously jonesing.”

There was no funeral for Mandelbrot.   But there was a service held, where mourners walked into a fractal temple.

We at WWN will miss Mandelbrot.  But, we’re still doing our fractals.  “Right on, dudes,” said Body.

Here’s a dose of fractals:


Arthur C. Clarke explains fractals for you:


Some more for you:


You want more?  Okay:


All right, all right… Here you go:


This it… Get your own zooms, dude:


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  1. In Benoit Mandelbrot's passing, who's work on Fractal Geometry helped create Pixar and inspire so many an appropriate tribute would be that he helped us imagine "To infinity and beyond."

    He inspire many people including me to write "Exploring Fractals"

    One of the greatest mathematicians Benoit Mandelbrot and a friend died today.He will be missed. He gave an added dimension to life. I had the privilege to know him and share his passion of fractal geometry with him and his friends. I took this picture some 25 years ago when had the chance to share time with the fathers… of modern fractal geometry at UC Santa Cruz.


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