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Benoit Mandelbrot

Mathematician and Professor Emeritus, Yale University
Benoît B. Mandelbrot is a French and American mathematician, best known as the father of fractal geometry. He is Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Emeritus at Yale University; IBM Fellow Emeritus at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center; and Battelle Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Mandelbrot was born in Poland and educated in France, and is now a dual French and American citizen. His books include the classic "The Fractal Geometry of Nature" (1982).

What are fractals? The man who invented the term—and the geometry to go along with it—explains how complex natural shapes such as mountains and coastlines can be represented mathematically.