Super-Mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot Has Passed Away

The French mathematician was the father of fractals, and while pancreatic cancer got the better of him four days ago, his reputation will live on in the areas of maths, physics, finance, biology and countless more.

The New York Times publicised his death on Saturday in a touching obituary, focusing mostly of his work in the field, but also of how his family escaped the Nazis in 1936, fleeing Poland and moving to France.

It wasn't until 1982, when he published The Fractal Geometry of Nature, that he really made his name. Supposedly the image above from the "Julia Set" is infamous in the maths and physics worlds, though admittedly I've not seen it before (I dropped maths at the age of 15, to take up double art instead - though perhaps the two worlds are more closely linked than I thought, judging by the image).

Anyway, if you're at all interested in mathematics and know your fractals from your fractures, his obituary is well worth a read. [NY Times via The Register]