Friday, November 16, 2012

Celebrating Mandelbrot

Initial image of a Mandelbrot set zoom sequence with a continuously colored environment.
Polish-born French mathematician Benoît B. Mandelbrot was born on November 20, 1924. He is best known as the father of fractal geometry. Although he passed away in 2010, his visionary, maverick approach of harnessing computer power to develop a geometry that mirrors the complexity of the natural world continues to have applications in many practical fields, including education. Two books from the MAA, one by Mandelbrot himself, focus on fractal's role in mathematics and science education. 

Fractals, Graphics, and Mathematics Education by Michael Frame & Benoit Mandelbrot is a collection of essays and sample lessons from educators who began years ago to use fractal geometry in classes that range from second grade elementary school, through public and private high schools, to state universities and private colleges.

The Beauty of Fractals: Six Different Views by Denny Gulick and Jon Scott discusses the broadening domain of fractals from art to scientific application to mathematical analysis. This MAA eBook includes six essays related to fractals, with perspectives different enough to give you a taste of the breadth of the subject. 

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