This week I have been thinking a lot about a vocabulary word: polymath.


Gosh, I just love that term! It means someone who is learned (“math”) in many (“poly”) subjects – a sort of Renaissance man (or woman). Say it with me once again…polymath.

Fractals from the Mandelbrot set

Given that, I was engrossed by a New York Times review of Benoit B.Mandelbrot’s newly published memoir. Does the name sound familiar? His name might not ring a bell, but his work will. According to Times reviewer Dwight Garner, Mandelbrot is the “beautiful, buzzing mind” who came up with the term fractal, and who invigorated the field of visual geometry and applied it to biology, physics and engineering.  Obviously one of those polymaths, Mandelbrot was dazzling at translating mathematical problems into geometric shapes. Click here to be taken to the book review.

What’s on your mind, mathematically speaking, this week?

4 thoughts on “Polymaths, fractals and an open thread”

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