Albion College
Mathematics and Computer Science
Fractals: Modeling Nature with Beauty
Holly Williams, `12

Mathematics Major

Fractals bridge the connection between mathematics and art as we know it. Fractals can be mathematically represented as a set of numbers with complex ratios but, more importantly, fractals can be characterized by their "self similar" tendency. When a fractal image is zoomed in, the new zoomed view looks very similar to the original picture. Examples of self similar, fractal like objects in nature are abundant and include trees, mountains, and veins. Benoit Mandelbrot coined the term "fractal" and realized the importance of this newfound mathematics branch in the 1950's. Despite Mandelbrot's important realization, members of the mathematical community had a hard time accepting Mandelbrot's work. Math was supposed use the language of math, which according to Galileo was triangles, not fractals. But, after much who-ha, Mandelbrot's work was finally accepted. Mandelbrot's famous set has inspired many works of art, and changed the computer graphics industry forever.
4:30 PM
All are welcome!
Palenske 227
April 26, 2012