Goodbye Benoît Mandelbrot

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French mathe Benoît Mandelbrot had is obituary published in the New York Times today. Why do I care about a French mathematician? To be honest with you mostly because of the pretty patterns of his Mandelbroit sets which introduced the concept of fractals to popular culture.

I remember lighting technicians in clubs in the early nineties who mixed videos of images from SIGGRAPH, NASA video, specially created video content where stock video was affected and video created in computer science labs of fractals. They were a key part of the UK club experience. They were often rendered on as a background on flyers as well. This produced an interest in technology based on these curious patterns that served me well later on.

Here is a presentation that Mandelbrot did at TED a few years ago talking about his branch of mathematics.