Dr. Benoit Mandelbrot

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    Yale University, New Haven, CT

    20 November 1924 - 14 October 2010

    Featured Author: Benoît Mandelbrot


    Benoît Mandelbrot (b. 20 November 1924, d. 14 October 2010) was a Polish born French and American mathematician. He was best known as the father of fractal geometry. His Jewish family (with a strong academic tradition) fled from Poland to France in 1936. He continued his studies in France and later he moved to US. In 1955 he married Aliette Kagan and moved to Geneva, Switzerland then Lille, France. Later, the couple moved to US and Mandelbrot joined IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in 1958, and remained with the company ever since, eventually becoming first an IBM Fellow, and then a Fellow Emeritus. Upon his retirement from IBM in 1987, Mandelbrot joined the Yale Department of Mathematics. At the time of his retirement in 2005, he was Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences. Mandelbrot means "almond bread" in German.

    His best known publications include Les objets fractals (1975) and the The Fractal Geometry of Nature (1982), both translated into several languages.

    Figure 1: Mandelbrot speaking at the École Polytechnique in 2006, during the ceremony when he was made an officer of the Legion of Honour.

    His awards include the Wolf Prize for Physics in 1993, the Lewis Fry Richardson Prize of the European Geophysical Society in 2000, the Japan Prize in 2003, and the Einstein Lectureship of the American Mathematical Society in 2006. The small asteroid 27500 Mandelbrot was named in his honour. In November 1990, he was made a Knight in the French Legion of Honour. In December 2005, Mandelbrot was appointed to the position of Battelle Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Mandelbrot was promoted to Officer of the French Legion of Honour in January 2006. An honorary degree from Johns Hopkins University was bestowed on Mandelbrot in the May 2010 commencement exercises.

    Scholarpedia articles:

    Fractals. Scholarpedia, Unpublished.
    Mandelbrot Set. Scholarpedia, Unpublished.

    (Author profile by Mortaza Doulaty)

    <review>Email: benoit.mandelbrot [at] yale.edu ~~~~ </review>

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