Google Doodle celebrates the birth of Benoît Mandelbrot

A name that perhaps means nothing to all those who have little or no scientific culture. Born on November 20, 1924 (hence the Doodle), Benoît Mandelbrot was a mathematician.

Born in Warsaw, Benoît Mandelbrot arrived in France at a very young age, his family having emigrated in 1936, five years after his father, a trader in search of a better future for his family.

In Paris, Benoît Mandelbrot finds his uncle Szolem, an eminent mathematician, founder of the Bourbaki group and professor at the Collège de France, undoubtedly at the origin of his vocation.

Because after studies made complicated by the German occupation, at the Lycée du Parc then at the Polytechnic School in Lyon before flying to Pasadena and the California Institute of Technology, Benoît

Mandelbrot did embrace a brilliant career.

A post-doctoral researcher at IAS Princeton in the early 1950s, the young mathematician is interested in Game Theory, the mathematical foundation of economics. After a short stint in France and then in Switzerland, Benoît Mandelbrot was recruited by IBM in 1958 and held a post as professor at Harvard University from 1962.

The father of fractals

Benoît Mandelbrot’s research led him from information theory to Zipf’s law, but this scientist is first known as the one who discovered fractals, infinitely fragmented mathematical objects, essential for the modeling of real objects. .

Benoît Mandelbrot remained at IBM until 1987 before becoming a professor at Yale for 17 years. He died in October 2010, in Massachusetts.

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