These days computer-generated fractal patterns are everywhere. From squiggly designs on computer art posters to illustrations in the most serious of physics journals, interest continues to grow among scientists and, rather surprisingly, artists and designers. The word "fractal" was coined in 1975 by mathematician and IBM fellow Benoit Mandelbrot to describe an intricate-looking set of curves, many of which were never seen before the advent of computers with their ability to quickly perform massive calculations. Fractals often exhibit self-similarity which means that various copies of an object can be found in the original object at smaller size scales. The detail continues for many magnifications -- like an endless nesting of Russian dolls within dolls. Some of these shapes exist only in abstract geometric space, but others can be used as models for complex natural objects such as coastlines and blood vessel branching. Interestingly, fractals provide a useful framework for understanding chaotic processes and for performing image compression. The dazzling computer-generated images can be intoxicating, motivating students' interest in math more than any other mathematical discovery in the last century.
Professor J. Clint Sprott
Fractal expert in the profound mathematics of fractals and Mandelbrot Sets:
Professor Michael Frame
Fractal expert in the profound mathematics of fractals and root-finding methods:
Professor Clifford Reiter
The Infinite Fractal Loop