Benoît Mandelbrot, the Biography

Benoît B. Mandelbrot, der Entdecker der Fraktale, verstarb Ende 2010. Kurz vorher schrieb er seine Biographie auf, die ist jetzt postum erschienen und das Buch habe ich mir grade bei Amazon bestellt, für mich ein Must Read. Die New York Times hat ein Review:

“I realized that mathematics cut off from the mysteries of the real world was not for me, so I took a different path,” he writes. He wanted to play with what he calls “questions once reserved for poets and children.”

His work on fractals was inspired, in no small part, by his childhood love of maps; he began to think about creating “random coastlines from a simple formula,” as he put it. The arrival of computer graphics greatly aided his quest. He ultimately described what became known as the Mandelbrot set, famous, he writes, for being “the most complex object in mathematics,” and inspired decades of trippy graphic representations.

Many memoirists write their books too early in their lives. Others, like Mandelbrot, wait too long. “The Fractalist” was composed shortly before he died in 2010 at 85; he never had a chance to make final revisions.

Wandering Visionary in Math’s Far Realms – ‘The Fractalist,’ Benoit B. Mandelbrot’s Math Memoir (via 3 Quarks Daily)

Amazon-Partnerlink: The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick