Big Brains. Small Films. Benoît Mandelbrot, The Father of Fractals | IBM


IBM and celebrate the life of Benoit B. Mandelbrot, IBM Fellow Emeritus and Fractal Pioneer. In this final interview shot by filmmaker Erol Morris, Mandelbrot shares his love for mathematics and how it led him to his wondrous discovery of fractals. His work lives on today in many innovations in science, design, telecommunications, medicine, renewable energy, film (special effects), gaming (computer graphics) and more.

Learn more about fractals at and join the fractal frenzy with the IBMblr Fractalizer.

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  1. Amazing.. work,, really inspiring.. 
    "my life seemed to be a series of events and accidents, yet when I look back I see a pattern" Benoit Mandelbrot

  2. There is Mandelbrot, and then there is the rest. His contribution will not be fully understood until long after his passing. May his spirit be at the right hand of God, to guide us all.

  3. ¿Cómo es posible que sean más famosos deportistas que científicos? Los deportistas pueden entretener durante unas horas; los científicos mejoran nuestra situación en el mundo. ¡Qué ceguera!

  4. I am glad to have meet him in the '90s. I remember him in front of me and me wondering… I may have a question later which I will wonder why I did not asked him about. Few years later, I re-read "Les objets fractales", a newest edition and could understand most of it. Very interesting book studying natural shapes up to exploring the unknown of our Universe through probability.

  5. Take enough hallucinogenics and this starts to make way too much sense. The fractal trip is crazy intense.
     I should probably add that at least a fundamental education in philosophy and science might be required in addition to the drugs.
     Not enough nerds take hallucinogenics. I think the world would evolve a lot faster if they partook more often.

  6. The B stands for Benoit B. Mandelbrot, and the B stands for Benoit B. Mandelbrot, and the B stands for Benoit B. Mandelbrot…..

  7. Mandelbrot is not the 'father' of Fractals – ok, he coined the term 'Fractals'.

    The science of Fractal Geometry was known and practiced in Africa thousands of years before Mandelbrot was born.

    When Europeans first came to Africa, they considered the architecture very disorganized and thus primitive. It never occurred to them that the Africans might have been using a form of mathematics that they hadn’t even discovered yet.

    Practical applications in ancient Africa include forecasting – chaos theory using concepts now adopted in computers such as pseudo-random number generators.

    Human-made fractals existed far before the birth of computers – the binary number system is indigenous to Africa.

    Anthropologists have observed that many indigenous African societies created fractals in their architecture, textiles, sculpture, art and religion. This was not simply unconscious or intuitive, as Africans linked these designs to concepts such as recursion and scaling.

    The African focus on fractals emphasizes their own cultural priorities: it can even be heard in their polyrhythmic music.

  8. I sat next to him at a dinner in 1983. He told me that his flat in Paris was above that of Georges Braque's widow. (Just in case you didn't know)

  9. Is there a more in depth version of this video? More about how he came up with the patterns and how they imitate life as we know it?

  10. Can someone explain how he got rid of the sound ? As far as i understoon it says he proved that the problem was imposible to solve ?? Help xD

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