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Mandelbrot’s In Heaven Now

We will be the first to admit that we have no mathematicians on the Geekosystem payroll, but we wouldn’t have our jobs if we couldn’t pick up on the times when geek culture as a whole loses someone very special.

What has yet to be confirmed by news sources, but what the internet already knows, is that Benoît Mandelbrot has died at age eighty-five.

Madelbrot’s work has had many applications, reaching connections in chaos theory, biological, and physical sciences.  He took a few disparate mathematical concepts and put them together to show that math could, in fact, describe natural, seemingly random phenomena. To put it another way (thank you, Mr. Coulton), “he saw that infinite complexity could be described by simple rules.”

He is most famous for his work with fractals, and for the Mandelbrot set, which, though he neither discovered it nor did the the lion’s share of study on it, was named after him as an honor.

We leave you with Mandelbrot Set by Jonathan Coulton, from which the title of this post is taken.  (There is another video with more lively visuals, but it doesn’t have the whole song.  Bad form.  And, yes, the equation that JoCo quotes actually describes the Julia set, which only corresponds to parts of the Mandelbrot set.  He knows.)

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.