Google celebrates mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot’s 96th birthday on 20th November 2020. Google Doodle honoured the mathematician for his theory of Fractal Geometry. The gif comprises him teaching with his various conceptual images in Math and Physics displayed in the background.
Born on 20th November 1924, Mandelbrot was a Polish-born French-American mathematician and a polymath. During his initial years of childhood, he was a chess champion in his locality. Besides, he was a student of his father’s map collection. He was fond of Math and Geometry at a very young age. The whole family moved from Warsaw, Poland to France in 1936, when he was still young. He acquired his undergraduate education from the universities in Paris and the United States of America. He did his post-graduation in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology.
His discoveries are worldwide known. However, he might be unknown to the non-mathematical minds.
His research was extremely beneficial to engineering, medicine and anatomy; these are only a few! The list is endless!
Unfortunately, Mandelbrot had pancreatic cancer and was shifted to hospice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He died on 14th October 2010 at 85.
His work and Awards
In 1958, Mandelbrot began working at the Watson Research Centre at IBM in New York. Besides working at IBM, he used to take periodic leaves to teach the students of Harvard University.
As he had access to IBM, he was the first to create fractal geometry. It was only possible by using computer graphics and algorithms. He discovered Mandelbrot set in 1980. In conclusion, one can say that visual complexity could be built with simple rules. This consequently took him a step forward and brought out his famous 1982 book, The Fractal Geometry of Nature.
He was a Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Yale University, towards the end of his career. He was the oldest professor to date to receive tenure. Yale University is one of the finest universities in the world.
In addition to receiving over 15 doctorates, he contributed to many scientific journals and won plenty of awards.
His autobiography, The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick, was posthumously published in 2012.
The term “Fractal Geometry” titled in 1975, explains the mathematical occurrence of irregular yet never-ending repeating shapes in nature. For instance, DNA, snowflakes, ocean waves, crystals. These are just a few! You can found all sorts of examples in your environment.
Mandelbrot discovered this new branch of Geometry.
Popularity of Fractals
The graphical images created by the algorithm had a mesmerizing effect. Later, it found its way into popular culture, gracing T-shirts, album covers, and posters. The theorem of Fractals became very popular. Therefore, Jonathan Coulton and Arthur C. Clarke released a song inspired by the Mandelbrot set.
He was curious yet cautious with calculations. Pioneering in Geometry, he used to find geometry in the simplest of objects around him. He excelled in math and geometry. Similarly, he made valuable contributions to society and science.
Tribute to Mandelbrot
Google celebrated Mandelbrot’s birthday by honouring him on Doodle this year. Moreover, Google also launched Mandelbrot Fractal Easter Eggs. These eggs allow one to explore the endless patterns of the Mandelbrot set. It has an interactive fractal viewer.