Edited by Nick.

Benoit Mandelbrot
Rama. Benoit Mandelbrot mg 1804-d. 14 Mar. 2007. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia       Foundation, 21 Sept. 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2011.       <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benoit_Mandelbrot_mg_1804-d.jpg>.
Rama. Benoit Mandelbrot mg 1804-d. 14 Mar. 2007. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Sept. 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benoit_Mandelbrot_mg_1804-d.jpg>.
(Resizing the image led to distortion for some reason)
Benoit Mandelbrot is most famous for his extensive research on fractals and their impact on society, but he also researched and developed mathematical models to predict the behavior of the stock market and taught at Yale. Mandelbrot’s work with fractals led to a greatly increased understanding of geography, protein structure, weather models, and the way materials break, among other applications. For Mandelbrot, his success stemmed not from chance or business skills, but from using a unique combination of visual and mathematical methods to approach his work, allowing him to conquer what no other mathematician could even describe—the fractal. (Contemporary Authors Online)

Early Career

After being accepted into the prestigious École Polytechnique without any formal education and without the standard two-years of studying for the entrance exams, Mandelbrot rapidly rose through the ranks of academia, earning his M.S within four years of entering the university system, and earning his Ph.D. four years after that. In the years following his education, Mandelbrot studied self-similar patterns and their presence in economics, the flooding of the Nile, and computing, eventually finding that the Cantor-Ternary set applied to electrical noise. During this entire period, Mandelbrot actually approached his work from a visual or geometrical perspective, but he later used this geometry to find math throughout the world. (Contemporary Authors Online)

Leading up to Fractals

Following his research into the Nile’s flooding, Mandelbrot began studying the occurrence of the yet-to-be-discovered fractals in nature, beginning with his initial inquiry into fractals—“How Long is the Coast of Britain?”. After developing a mathematical model that could be used to replicate coastlines, Mandelbrot began to describe the human body, mountains, and clouds, using fractals and self-similar mathematical models. Soon, Mandelbrot would be ready to publish his hallmark work. (Contemporary Authors Online)

Mandelbrot’s Age of Fractals

In 1975, Benoit Mandelbrot published Les objets fractals, forme, hazard et dimension, where he coined the term fractals, a new geometric object. Soon afterwards, Mandelbrot’s work on fractals was being applied in movies such as Star Wars: Return of The Jedi, video games, and various real-world fields. Mandelbrot successfully conquered what other mathematicians once referred to as “pathological monsters”, furthering the fields of geology, astronomy, medicine, and engineering. Around this time, Benoit Mandelbrot also developed the figure known as the Mandelbrot set, which immortalized his work among mathematicians. (New York Times)


Mandelbrot's Set:

Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 00 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons.       Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011.       <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/       File:Mandel_zoom_00_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.
Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 00 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Mandel_zoom_00_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.

Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 01 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons.       Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011.       <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/       File:Mandel_zoom_01_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.
Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 01 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Mandel_zoom_01_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.

Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 02 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons.       Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011.       <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/       File:Mandel_zoom_02_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.
Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 02 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Mandel_zoom_02_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.

Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 03 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons.       Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011.       <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/       File:Mandel_zoom_03_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.
Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 03 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Mandel_zoom_03_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.

His Later Years

After a long research career at IBM, Benoit Mandelbrot left to teach mathematics full-time at Yale, despite being 75 at the time. Benoit continued to teach until his retirement 2004 (Yale Daily Bulletin), and he continued to be honored for his work on fractals until his death on October 14th, 2010 from fractals. Benoit Mandelbrot did not become significant through research on many topics or success in business, but through his single great contribution to the field of mathematics—the discovery of fractals. Ultimately, Mandelbrot used his visual abilities to augment his mathematical approach to life, living as a visual mathematician.

Social and Educational

Background

Benoit was born into a Jewish family in Warsaw, Poland.
His mother had a constant fear that her children would die in an epidemic, so she did not permit Benoit Mandelbrot to attend school.
While in Warsaw, Mandlebrot's uncle gave him an informal education, teaching him how to read maps, but failing to teach him the entire alphabet.
Mandelbrot and his family later fled to France from Poland because of the impending Nazi invasion.
While in France, his Uncle Szolem gave him a slightly more formalized mathematical education. Unfortunately, this was disrupted by the Nazi invasion of France during WWII.
During the Nazi occupation of France, Benoit spent time as a toolmaker's apprentice and took care of horses to survive, continuing his studies independently when he had time.
Immediately following the end of WWII, Benoit Mandelbrot passed the entrance exams for the prestigious École Polytechnique with significantly less preparation time than his peers.
After being exposed to George Zipf's statistical analyses, Mandlebrot began working to apply math to in various fields, even where the relationship wasn't clear.

Benoit Mandelbrot's uncle was a professor of math at the Collége de France.




Political

Background


Benoit did not believe in the peer review system for science, but he felt that it was better than the alternative-- a single all-powerful editor. He claims that the problem is a lack of peers in some fields. (Monte Davis)

Economic and Professional Background

Benoit Mandelbrot worked at IBM in the 1960s as a mathematician.
In the 1970s, Mandelbrot experimented with computers, both using them as a tool and as a research subject
In 1999, Mandelbrot became a full-time tenured professor.
Mandelbrot's parents were middle class. His father was a scholarly children's clothing salesman while his mother was a dentist and a doctor.
Mandelbrot was heavily criticized for his tendency to avoid proving his claims, instead preferring to "stimulate the field by making bold and crazy conjectures."
(Contemporary Authors Online)(New York Times)(Monte Davis)




Bibliography:
Contemporary Authors Online. “Benoit B. Mandelbrot.” Gale Biography in Context. Cengage Learning, 2010. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://ic.galegroup.com/‌ic/‌bic1/‌ReferenceDetailsPage/‌ReferenceDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=Reference&prodId=BIC1&action=e&windowstate=normal&catId=&documentId=GALE|H1000124915&mode=view>.
Coulton, Jonathan. “Mandelbrot Set.” Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow. 2004. Jonathan Coulton. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://www.jonathancoulton.com/‌mp3/‌Mandelbrot%20Set.mp3>.
Courteau, Eric, et al. XaoS. Vers. 3.5. Sourceforge, 2009. Internet. Licensed under the GNU GPL.
Hoffman, Jascha. “Benoît Mandelbrot, Novel Mathematician, Dies at 85.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 16 Oct. 2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/‌2010/‌10/‌17/‌us/‌17mandelbrot.html?_r=1>.
Maksim. Britain-fractal-coastline-200km.png. 18 Mar. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Mar. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Britain-fractal-coastline-200km.png>.
- - -. Britain-fractal-coastline-50km.png. 18 Mar. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Mar. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Britain-fractal-coastline-50km.png>.
Mandelbrot, Benoit B. Interview by Monte Davis and Omni Magazine. Yale Department of Mathematics. Yale University, 1984. Web. 16 Mar. 2011. <http://users.math.yale.edu/‌~bbm3/‌web_pdfs/‌profile.pdf>.
NuclearVacuum. EU-Poland. 23 Oct. 2009. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Oct. 2009. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:EU-Poland.svg>.
Ragesoss. Sterling Memorial Library 2, September 1, 2008.jpg. 3 Sept. 2008. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Sept. 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Sterling_Memorial_Library_2,_September_1,_2008.jpg>.
Rama. Benoit Mandelbrot mg 1804-d. 14 Mar. 2007. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Sept. 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Benoit_Mandelbrot_mg_1804-d.jpg>.
Tó campos1. Peanocurve. 25 July 2007. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 July 2007. Web. 15 Mar. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Peanocurve.svg>.
Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 00 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Mandel_zoom_00_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.
Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 01 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Mandel_zoom_01_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.
Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 02 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Mandel_zoom_02_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.
Wolfgangbeyer. Mandel zoom 03 mandelbrot set. 4 Dec. 2006. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Mandel_zoom_03_mandelbrot_set.jpg>.
Wolfram Research. “Mandelbrot Set.” Wolfram MathWorld. Wolfram Research, 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://mathworld.wolfram.com/‌MandelbrotSet.html>.
Yale University. “In memoriam: Benoit Mandelbrot.” Yale Daily Bulletin Beta 1.5. Yale University, 18 Oct. 2010. Web. 16 Mar. 2011. <http://dailybulletin.yale.edu/‌article.aspx?id=7903>.
International Business Machines. "IBM Research IBM Fellows." IBM Research.
International Business Machines, 2010. Web. 16 Mar. 2011.
<http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/awards_fellows.shtml>.

Lesmoir-Gordon, Nigel. "Benoît Mandelbrot obituary ." The Guardian. Guardian
News and Media, 17 Oct. 2010. Web. 16 Mar. 2011.
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/oct/17/
benoit-mandelbrot-obituary>.

Mandelbrot, Benoit B. "Fractals and the Art of Roughness." TED2010. Long Beach,
CA. Feb. 2010. TED.com. Web. 16 Mar. 2011. <http://www.ted.com/talks/
benoit_mandelbrot_fractals_the_art_of_roughness.html>.